GREENOCK’S Beacon Arts Centre is taking centre stage as Scottish Opera comes up with a social-distanced alternative to its annual autumn tour.
Opera Highlights usually involves four singers and a pianist travelling the length and breadth of Scotland but this year it is being replaced with an online production because of pandemic restrictions.
The digital production of Opera Highlights was filmed in the theatre at the Beacon and will be available to audiences on Scottish Opera’s website on Sunday 25 October at 6pm, World Opera Day.
It features a playlist of operatic classics curated by Scottish Opera’s head of music Derek Clark. Pianist Susannah Wapshott is joined on stage by Scottish Opera’s 2020/21 Emerging Artist singers: soprano Catriona Hewitson, mezzo-soprano Margo Arsane, tenor Shengzhi Ren and baritone Arthur Bruce.
They’ll be singing some familiar favourites from La traviata and Carmen, along with pieces by Gilbert and Sullivan, Mozart, and Léhar.
Opera Highlights director Rosie Purdie said: “At this time I wanted this production of Opera Highlights to feel bright and merry, provide a few much-needed laughs, and exhibit some wonderful music.
“Four different singers come together to sing on the stage for the first time in many months. The cast and everyone backstage have worked extremely hard against the odds, embracing the restrictions and the distancing to create a colourful show designed to make you smile.’
Scottish Opera general director Alex Reedjik said: “While this year’s production is taking a different form to our usual tour, I am delighted that we are able to continue our much-acclaimed productions of Opera Highlights in these times, through this film.”