A MONTH LONG OUTDOOR FESTIVAL WITH SCOTTISH OPERA, CITIZENS THEATRE AND SCOTTISH ENSEMBLE

Live theatre, music and opera are back, with the announcement of an outdoor festival at Scottish Opera’s Production Studio car park at 40 Edington Street, Glasgow. Joined by Citizens Theatre and Scottish Ensemble in a specially created outdoor theatre, performances take place over four weeks from 3 July to 1 August. Scottish Opera is thrilled to welcome audiences to once again enjoy stirring live entertainment, with the Company’s production of Verdi’s Falstaff, Weill’s The Tsar Has His Photograph Taken and three concerts by The Orchestra of Scottish Opera. The Citizens Theatre presents a new production of Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors and Scottish Ensemble partner with Social Bite to perform Vivaldi's Four Seasons.

Set in the same location as Scottish Opera’s five-star production of Puccini’s La bohème last September, this year the temporary outdoor venue has theatre-style seating for audiences of around 150, which will follow the latest guidelines from the Scottish Government. Tickets are on sale from June 8 on each company’s website.

Opening the festival on Saturday 3 July is Scottish Opera’s brand new production of Verdi’s Falstaff, directed and designed by world-renowned Scot Sir David McVicar. An exquisite seventeenth century stage design and period costumes set the scene for a stunning production of Verdi’s comic opera, in what promises to be an evening of comedy, pathos and entertainment. During the festival, The Orchestra of Scottish Opera perform three lunchtime concerts with playful repertoire, including Elgar’s Serenade for Strings, Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No 2 and a programme of hugely entertaining music for brass and wind by Crespo, Dvořàk and Stravinsky. The festival finale is Scottish Opera’s Young Company with a production of Kurt Weill's bold and absurd comedy The Tsar Has His Photograph Taken.

The Citizens Theatre presents The Comedy of Errors - Shakespeare’s riotous tale of mistaken identity and reunited families. Directed by Artistic Director Dominic Hill, this stripped-back, lively and colourful production will be performed by a talented ensemble. With live music and physical comedy, this farcical 90-minute show will provide a fun return to live theatre performance for audiences in Glasgow.

Performing in four concerts over two days, the 12-strong Scottish Ensemble will bring to life Vivaldi’s iconic masterpiece, The Four Seasons. It may have been written in the 1700s, but this piece speaks to the volatility and ever-changing pace of the world today with a piercing, poignant precision. Scottish Ensemble celebrates new beginnings and the passing of time by partnering with Scottish charity and social enterprise Social Bite. Together, they present Sound Bites – a programme based on the notion that sharing food and listening to music with others are experiences at the heart of peoples’ lives as social beings. Sound Bites connects those two worlds with a themed picnic box available for audience members to enjoy during the concerts. 10% of ticket sales for Scottish Ensemble performances are being donated to Social Bite and its work helping to end homelessness.

Scottish Opera’s General Director Alex Reedijk said: ‘Live at No. 40 is a celebration of the performing arts industry and its resilience over what has been a trying and difficult year. We are delighted to have the opportunity to come together with Scottish Ensemble and Citizens Theatre to share our car park and mark what we hope will be the beginning of the return to live performance. Performing outside allows us the greatest chance to make safe shows and share with the most amount of people. We can’t wait to welcome audiences back for our selection of performances, to belly laugh, to weep, to be astounded and surprised, in what is sure to be a sensational return to live entertainment.’

Citizens Theatre’s Artistic Director, Dominic Hill, said: ‘We are delighted to be invited by Scottish Opera to join this celebratory return to live performance, safely reuniting artists and audiences to rediscover the magic of theatre, opera and classical music. We can’t wait to get back on stage and come together again as a community to enjoy a fun Shakespeare comedy in an atmospheric outdoor setting. It will be a joyous moment of reunion. While our building continues to be redeveloped, it’s a great opportunity to provide an alternative way to see a Citizens Theatre production this summer.’

Interim Chief Executive at Scottish Ensemble,William Norris, said: ‘Vivaldi’s Four Seasons is so ever-fresh, so full of contrast, drama and energy that it seems tailor made for Scottish Ensemble’s first public performances in over a year - and we're particularly thrilled to be performing it as part of a great example of cultural team-work, working alongside our friends at Scottish Opera and Citizens Theatre. As ever though we’re doing things just a little differently, and are so excited to be partnering with the homelessness charity Social Bite for these performances - not only will a portion of the proceeds of every ticket purchased go to support their vital work, but they have devised a mouth-watering picnic that will pair perfectly with Vivaldi’s deliciously good music.

We can't wait to be back on stage and seeing our audiences face to face again as part of the brilliant Live at No.40 festival - a celebration of some of the best of Glasgow's cultural creativity.’

[Ends]

NOTES TO EDITORS

All productions are created and performed in line with Scottish Government guidelines. Refunds are guaranteed should a performance not be able to go ahead. Detailed Covid safety guidance will be issued when tickets go on sale.

Performances will take place at Scottish Opera’s Production Studio car park: 40 Edington St, Glasgow G4 9RD.

KEY DATES

6 performances of Scottish Opera’s Falstaff*: 3, 7, 10, 13, 15,17 July

3 performances from The Orchestra of Scottish Opera: 5,6,16 July

11 performances of Citizens Theatre’s The Comedy of Errors: 11 - 24 July

4 performances of Scottish Ensemble’s Four Seasons: 18 and 19 July

2 performances of Scottish Opera Young Company’s The Tsar Has His Photograph Taken**: 31 July and 1 August


*Falstaff is sponsored by Dunard Fund and supported by Scottish Opera Endowment Trust, the Alexander Gibson Circle & Falstaff Appeal donors.

**Supported by Carntyne Trust and Scottish Opera’s Education Angels.

For more information on Scottish Opera performances visit: https://www.scottishopera.org.uk/

For more information on Citizens Theatre performances visit: https://www.citz.co.uk/

For more information on Scottish Ensemble performances visit: https://scottishensemble.co.uk/

SCOTTISH OPERA

The Company’s Opera on Screen productions are available to watch at www.scottishopera.org.uk/what-s-on/opera-on-screen/.

The collection includes Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, Mozart’s Così fan tutte, Opera Highlights, Janáček’s The Diary of One Who Disappeared, Menotti’s The Telephone and Samuel Bordoli and Jenni Fagan’s The Narcissistic Fish.

Scottish Opera is Scotland’s national opera company and the largest performing arts organisation in Scotland.

The Company's performance repertoire ranges across five centuries, from the earliest operas to newly-commissioned world premieres, working in collaboration with the world's finest singers and creatives, alongside The Orchestra of Scottish Opera and choruses. Recent accolades include a South Bank Sky Arts Award, a Scottish Award for New Music, Sunday Herald Culture Awards and a Herald Angel, as well as a 2020 RPS Award nomination.

Scottish Opera's work caters for audiences of all ages – ranging from babies to people living with dementia – and our Young Company and Emerging Artist programme support the talent of the future.

The Company tours extensively across Scotland, from the largest-scale theatres to rural venues with a capacity as low as 22, to ensure we are within reach of as many of our country's very dispersed population as possible. A miniature mobile opera house – literally, opera performed inside a converted 40-foot-long trailer on the back of a lorry – brings ‘Pop-up Opera’ performances to thousands of people each year in a range of inspiring and unexpected community locations. This represents the most extensive touring programme of any opera company in Europe and is a much-valued contribution to Scotland’s cultural and artistic life, particularly in remote and island communities.

The Company’s Education and Outreach programme, which celebrates 50 years in 2021, includes an annual Primary Schools Tour, bringing upper primary-aged children the opportunity to perform their own specially-commissioned piece, alongside three professional singers. Around 120 schools and 9,000 pupils take part each year.

Scottish Opera aims to be inclusive and affordable through availability of free and cheap tickets, as well as access performances including audio description, and performances which cater to those living with Dementia.

Scottish Opera is core funded by The Scottish Government

CITIZENS THEATRE

The Citizens Theatre is Glasgow’s major producing theatre and one of the leading theatre companies in the UK. Over the last 75 years, it has built an international reputation for producing innovative shows on stage, alongside a highly regarded learning programme of participatory and education work. It is led by Artistic Director, Dominic Hill who is regarded as having “a talent for classical drama which is genuinely world class.” (Daily Telegraph) and Executive Director, Alex McGowan. The theatre presents bold new interpretations of classic texts that are accessible and relevant - and uniquely, where any member of the audience can attend a performance for as little as 50p. The company’s beautiful Victorian home in the Gorbals is currently closed while it undergoes a major redevelopment. This will be the first comprehensive, integrated redevelopment of the building since it opened in 1878. The project will transform the experiences of audiences, participants and performers and secure the future of one of Scotland’s most iconic buildings and leading producing theatres. More information: citz.co.uk

SCOTTISH ENSEMBLE

Scottish Ensemble (SE) is the UK’s leading string orchestra; a core of outstanding string players who perform together under Artistic Director Jonathan Morton. Based in Glasgow, Scotland, SE inspires audiences in the UK and beyond with vibrant performances which are powerful, challenging and rewarding experiences, crossing genres, styles, musical periods and artistic forms to offer fresh perspectives on classical music.

SE regularly collaborates with high-profile guest artists, from trumpeter Alison Balsom and mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly to cellist Pieter Wispelwey and violinists Patricia Kopatchinskaja and Nicola Benedetti. SE is also becoming increasingly known for its international collaborations with artists from other disciplines, from dance and theatre companies to visual artists. Starting in 2014, their series of annual cross-artform collaborations has so far included immersive projects with visual artist Toby Paterson; Swedish contemporary dance company Andersson Dance; electronic-classical crossover composer Anna Meredith and visual artist Eleanor Meredith; and, Scottish theatre company Vanishing Point.

Alongside performances across Scotland, SE presents concerts across the UK, London and the globe. Recent invitations to tour abroad have resulted in engagements in Taiwan, China, Brazil, the USA and across Europe, performing at prestigious venues from the Shanghai Concert Hall (China) and the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts (USA) as well as festivals including the Edinburgh International, Edinburgh Fringe and Thuringia Bach Festivals.

SE is also committed to expanding the string repertoire, with recent commissions including new works from John Tavener, James MacMillan, Sally Beamish, Martin Suckling and Anna Meredith.

SOCIAL BITE
Social Bite started as a sandwich shop on Rose Street in Edinburgh in August 2012 and has now grown to a major driving force in tackling homelessness in Scotland and further afield. One in three of Social Bite’s staff have a background of homelessness and the charity has received visits from Hollywood superstars Leonardo DiCaprio and George Clooney.

Social Bite is the largest distributor of free fresh food to the homeless in the UK, giving out more than 140,000 items of food and hot drinks per year. In response to the recent pandemic, more than 800,000 emergency food packs and essential items were distributed.

Social Bite’s 2017 and 2018 Sleep in Park events in Scotland raised almost £8million and saw more than 18,000 people sleeping out. With funds raised from Sleep in the Park events, The Social Bite Village was built in May 2018 and 39 people have since been housed in the bespoke accommodation. The charity also launched a nationwide program to bring 830 rough sleepers off the streets into their own accommodation with support. More than 400 people have now been housed and counting.

In 2019, the charity’s founder Josh Littlejohn MBE created The World’s Big Sleepout, which was a global campaign to raise awareness of homelessness. The campaign saw 60,000 members of the public Sleepout in 52 cities all over the world and was supported by Will Smith and Dame Helen Mirren.

The Social Bite Fund (SC045232) is a registered charity in Scotland which seeks to alleviate homelessness through innovative solutions from employment and support programmes, to temporary housing.

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