Opera pops up at Oban High

Scottish Opera 2020 Online Highlights Tour, photographed at The Beacon Theatre, Greenock, October 2020. Photograph: Colin Hattersley Photography

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Oban High School is one of the venues lined up for this summer’s pop-up performances by Scottish Opera.

For the first time in nine months, Scottish Opera will be returning to live outdoor performances with more than 200 shows planned.

Socially-distanced audiences of more than 12,000 are expected with two specially-adapted trailers taking to the road at the same time, condensing five fun-filled Gilbert & Sullivan classics and all their frivolity into 30-minute performances of A Little Bit of… The Gondoliers, The Mikado, The Pirates of Penzance, HMS Pinafore and Iolanthe.

Re-scored by Scottish Opera’s head of music, Derek Clark, with story text by Allan Dunn, the shows starting on June 10 will give opera tasters and pop up at a variety of locations across Scotland, starting in Inverness before heading across Aberdeenshire, to the Isle of Lewis and down to Dumfries and the Scottish Borders via Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow – stopping off at Oban High School on July 16 and July 17 with A Little Bit of Iolanthe, The Mikado and The Gondoliers.

Other tour dates in our area include the Nevis Centre in Fort William on July 21 for A Little bit of HMS Pinafore and The Pirates of Penzance.

The al fresco performances will involve a covered stage and audiences out front in the open air, seated in household bubbles in line with the current Scottish Government guidelines.

Scottish Opera’s general director, Alex Reedijk, said the return to live performance is long awaited and hopefully they will be back inside theatres soon.

Scottish Opera’s director of outreach and education Jane Davidson, said: ‘We are delighted to have our Pop-up Opera back on the road with a collection of fantastically fun shows for the whole family to enjoy. With colourful illustrations and an incredible cast, the pop-up shows will transport you in to the wonderfully weird world of WS Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, complete with glorious music, wit and heartfelt sentiment.’

Pop-up Opera is supported by Garfield Weston Foundation (Weston Culture Fund), Backstage Trust, D’Oyly Carte Opera Trust, The Cross Trust, The Thistle Trust, Scottish Opera Endowment Trust and Scottish Opera’s Education Angels.

Tickets will go on sale at Scottish Opera’s website www.scottishopera.org.uk from Wednesday June 2.