Opera company making merry in Galashiels to mark 10th anniversary

Opera Bohemia's 2019 version of The Merry Widow by Franz Lehar.
Opera Bohemia's 2019 version of The Merry Widow by Franz Lehar.

Opera Bohemia is rhapsodising about reaching its 10th anniversary, and it’s out on the road again for its biggest tour yet to mark that milestone birthday.

It’s staging a new take on Franz Lehar’s The Merry Widow, the first professional production of the 1905 operetta seen in Scotland for a decade, at 18 venues, and they include MacArts in Galashiels next Wednesday, September 11.

Tickets cost £16. For details, go to www.macarts.scot

Douglas Nairne and Alistair Digges, founders of the company, based in Kirkliston in Edinburgh, said: “We can’t quite believe it has been 10 years since we began our mission of bringing live opera round Scotland and giving opportunities to young professional singers and musicians.

“In that time we’ve been lucky to work with so many talented performers, directors and designers.

“We are very grateful to everyone who has helped us along the way and to various trusts and donors for their financial support.

“We’re really excited to be performing at MacArts and making our first visit to Galashiels.”

The Merry Widow, based on Henri Meilhac’s 1861 comic play The Embassy Attache, features a libretto by Viktor Leon and Leo Stein.

It’s set in Paris during the 1930s and follows the efforts of various suitors to win the hand of wealthy widow Hannah Glawari.

Its cast includes Edinburgh-born soprano Catriona Clark, in the title role, and Fife-born baritone Nairne, along with the likes of Marie Claire Breen and Andrew McTaggart.

It’s directed by John Wilkie and choreographed by Michael Scott, with Digges as musical director.