The Sunday Series: Opera in Concert begins with Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s heartfelt and tender work, Iolanta, on Sunday 29 October, in Theatre Royal Glasgow, at 3pm.

Scottish Opera’s Music Director Stuart Stratford has once again curated The Sunday Series which focuses this Season on his love of, and expertise in, Russian music.

He will conduct Gulnara Shafigullina (La traviata 2017) in the title role of Iolanta, a young blind girl kept in seclusion who is unaware of her condition until she falls in love and her eyes are opened in every sense. Also in the cast are soloists Alexey Dolgov, Ashley Holland, Nadine Livingston, Anne-Marie Owens, James Platt, Alexei Tanovitski and Scottish Opera Emerging Artists Alexey Gusev and Laura Zigmantaite. They are joined by a chorus and The Orchestra of Scottish Opera.

Iolanta — Tchaikovsky’s last opera — which is part fairy tale, part parable, was originally premiered alongside his enormously popular ballet The Nutcracker and is rarely heard outside Russia.

Stuart Stratford said: ‘Tchaikovsky’s last opera is a rare treasure. It has all the harmonic and melodic sophistication of his 6th symphony and The Nutcracker, and yet projects its own tender and spiritual energy in a way which is completely different to anything he ever wrote. Join us — with our fabulous international Russian-speaking cast — on a journey to ask the question of what it is to truly see.’

Three further concerts are planned for this Season’s Sunday Series: the second is a performance of Prokofiev’s The Fiery Angel in collaboration with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland at City Halls Glasgow in December. Mikhail Agrest, resident for many years at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, will conduct singers from the Conservatoire’s opera course and student instrumentalists alongside professional soloists and The Orchestra of Scottish Opera.

In February at Theatre Royal Glasgow, From Russia With Love features singers from the National Opera Studio — the UK’s leading training programme for young opera professionals which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. This semi-staged performance features a variety of Russian-themed repertoire, performed by The Orchestra of Scottish Opera.

The Sunday Series 2017/18 closes in May with a performance of two works by Rachmaninov: Aleko and Francesca da Rimini. Adapted from a poem by Pushkin, Aleko was Rachmaninov’s first opera. This will be the first ever performance of Rachmaninov on the Scottish Opera stage and the Scottish premiere of Francesca da Rimini, a little-known opera telling a story of love and death with a plot drawn from Dante’s Inferno.


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