Scottish Opera to present Perth Arts Festival 50th Anniversary Opening Gala

ON THURSDAY 19 May, at the Perth Concert Hall, Scottish Opera presents a program of some of opera’s most moving and delightful music to open the 50th anniversary festival of the Perth Festival of the Arts.

The opening concert of the Brewin Dolphin Festival gala features sopranos Eleanor Dennis and Catriona Hewitson, mezzo-sopranos Catriona Morison and Lea Shaw, and baritone Jonathan McGovern. Eleanor last starred in the company’s 2016 production of ‘The Marriage of Figaro’ as Countess Almaviva, while Catriona Hewitson, Lea and Jonathan appeared in the recent five-star production of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. Scottish mezzo-soprano and BBC Cardiff Singer of the World winner Catriona Morison makes her Scottish Opera debut. They will be conducted by the company’s musical director, Stuart Stratford, and accompanied by the Scottish Opera Orchestra.

With excerpts from Bizet’s best-known opera “Carmen”, Mozart’s much-loved “Don Giovanni” and “The Magic Flute”, Strauss’ “Der Rosenkavalier”, Puccini’s one-act comic opera ” Gianni Schicci” and the second opera “Edgar”, “Werther” (Massenet’s staging of Goethe’s tragic novel) and Humperdinck’s fairy tale opera “Hansel and Gretel”, each half of the performance opens with cheerful showcases for the Scottish Opera Orchestra. This is Shostakovich’s “Festive Overture”, a sparkling piece written in 1954 for the 37and anniversary of the October Revolution and Wagner’s unique comedy “Die Meistersinger”, a simple story of art, love and tradition.

Scottish Opera’s Music Director, Stuart Stratford, said: “It is a great honor for Scottish Opera to perform at the Perth Arts Festival Gala Opening Concert, in its 50and Anniversary year. The five wonderful singers include Jonathan McGovern, who is set to sing the title role in our revival of ‘Don Giovanni’. He also, with Catriona Hewitson and Lea Shaw, dazzled critics and audiences in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. There’s so much to look forward to, from the instantly recognizable music of “The Magic Flute” to the bubbly comedy of “Der Rosenkavalier.” It promises to be a truly special evening.

David Brand, Chairman of the Perth Festival of the Arts, said: “All of us at the Perth Festival of the Arts are delighted to have Scottish opera performing in the opening concert of the Brewin Dolphin Festival Gala on the occasion history of our 50and Festival. Since 1972 the Festival has featured wonderfully talented performers from around the world and it is only fitting that the splendid orchestra and singers of Scottish Opera open our 50and Anniversary. At our very first Festival, Scottish Opera performed both ‘A Midsummer’s Night Dream’ and ‘Così fan tutte’, and we couldn’t think of a better way to mark the 50th anniversary and ensure a fantastic start to the Festival this year. »

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The concert is part of the Festival, a jewel of Scotland’s cultural calendar, with performances at the Perth Theatre, Perth Concert Hall and other venues from 18-29 May and features the best in classical music, theater , rock, folk, jazz, literature and visual art.

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