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Puccini’s Tosca comes to His Majesty’s Theatre

By David Porter

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Scottish Opera’s 2019/20 Season begins with Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca, a revival of the much loved 1980 production by director Anthony Besch and designer Peter Rice, coming to Aberdeen’s His Majesty’s Theatre from Thursday, October 31 to Saturday, November 2.

Last performed by the Company in 2012, Tosca is conducted by Scottish Opera Music Director Stuart Stratford.

Besch’s production is set in 1940s Rome, in the shadow of Mussolini’s tyrannical rule.

It tells the story of a passionate and ill-fated love, played out against a backdrop of political corruption and intrigue.

Besch’s production of Tosca has been a huge hit with Scottish Opera audiences, and has toured to London, Liverpool and Newcastle.

It has also been taken up by companies in Boston, Lisbon, Murcia, New Zealand and Oviedo.

Revival director Jonathan Cocker directs an internationally renowned cast including Natalya Romaniw (Eugene Onegin 2018) and Sinéad Campbell-Wallace as tragic opera diva Floria Tosca.

Tenor Gwyn Hughes Jones (Iltrovatore 2015) is Cavaradossi and baritone Roland Wood (Pelléas and Mélisande 2017) is Scarpia, the corrupt Chief of Police.

They are joined by Scottish Opera favourites Dingle Yandell (The Magic Flute 2019) Aled Hall (Rigoletto 2018) Paul Carey Jones (The Trial 2017) and Lancelot Nomura (Ariadne auf

Naxos 2018).

For the first time, the Friday evening performance in Aberdeen will be Dementia Friendly. With a running time of approximately one hour 45 minutes, these specially abridged performances are carefully designed to make the theatrical experience more accessible to people living with dementia.

Sound and lighting levels are adjusted for the comfort of the audience, and the cast is joined on stage by a narrator.

Audiences will also be able to go in and out of the auditorium during the performance and see the show in the foyer areas on TV screens.

Aberdeen Performing Arts’ Director of Programming and Creative Projects, Ben Torrie said: “We are always very proud to present the excellent productions of Scottish Opera on the HMT stage, and we are particularly pleased that we are also able to offer a dementia friendly performance of Tosca.

“Those who regularly attend and enjoy Scottish Opera at HMT will probably notice very little change, but these small adjustments can make the world of difference to someone living with dementia.”

Those who wish to discover more about how the production was created can attend Tosca Unwrapped, one-hour tasters delving further into the show, as well as Pre-show Talks. Audience members with a visual impairment can enjoy the full opera experience at audio-described performances, which have a live commentary describing the action on stage without compromising the music.

Tickets are on sale now and available from www.aberdeenperformingarts.com, phone 01224 641122 or visit the box office at His Majesty’s Theatre, the Music Hall or the Lemon Tree.

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