SCOTTISH Opera is marking its half century with a retrospective romp through music from some of the Company’s most memorable productions.
Opera Highlights, which has already embarked on its Scotland-wide tour, sits familiar favourites from Verdi’s "La Traviata", Bizet’s "Carmen", Rossini’s "The Barber of Seville" and Gilbert an Sullivan’s "The Gondoliers" alongside lesser-known gems mined from the archives like Bernstein’s "Candide", Rimsky-Korsakov’s "The Golden Cockerel", MacMillan’s "Ines de Castro" and Weber’s "Oberon".
To complete the 50th anniversary celebrations, Opera Highlights will also feature the world premiere of a new piece of music by Scottish Opera’s first composer in residence Gareth Williams, created especially for the tour.
Four singers and a pianist will visit 17 venues across the length and breadth of Scotland, including Torridon and Durness village halls and the OneTouch Theatre, Eden Court.
Packing their scores into their suitcases for this year’s tour are Scottish tenor Nicky Spence (Tamino in Scottish Opera’s recent production of "The Magic Flute"), Scottish Opera emerging artist Katie Grosset (Flora in last year’s "La Traviata"), and making their Scottish Opera debuts soprano Eleanor Dennis and baritone Duncan Rock, with Gary Griffiths taking over for the Inverness show and the final performances of the tour.
Claire Haslin and Ruth Wilkinson share the role of music director and pianist, while Adrian Osmond directs.
The man in charge of putting together the anniversary programme is Scottish Opera head of music Derek Clark.
"Opera Highlights is always a celebration of wonderful music and this year it’s even more special as we’ve been be able to put together a programme which takes a joyful look back at some of Scottish Opera’s own highlights from across our 50 years," he said.
"With such a varied selection of music there is plenty to enjoy whether you’re an opera novice, an opera buff, or anywhere in between."
• Opera Highlights dates include Torridon Community Hall on Thursday 7th February; Durness Village Hall on Saturday 9th February; and the OneTouch Theatre, Eden Court, Inverness, on Tuesday 12th February. All shows begin at 7.30pm.