Scottish Opera – Listening Gallery

  • Visit to the Opera after the reopening of the Theatre Royal in 1975

    I came along and saw the next production they were doing, which was Madama Butterfly, and I thought that would be a good introduction. I hadn’t seen many operas up to that point, so I went along and was thoroughly enchanted with the whole evening. Not just singing, but the whole theatre – I loved it. Walking in on this beautiful carpet that had been specially made for the theatre and looking at all this beautiful wallpaper that was all so brown with gold stripes up it. And it was just so lavish and magnificent and you felt as if this was a really cared for and majestic kind of theatre; that it made for a very splendid evening. And I thought, “Hmm, I like this, I like this a lot”. And it helped, I think, listening to the opera in such terrific surroundings.”

    Caro HarknessHead of WardrobeScottish Ballet

  • Thrill of the Theatre

    So, it was really exciting to actually have something to do with a real live theatre, to feel that it was Scottish Opera’s theatre. You know, being able to go in through the stage door, walking through and hearing everybody talking and all that kind of, you know, stage patois that they have. Talking about “bringing the iron in”, and things like that. I had no idea what they were talking about, but it was really interesting. And I always used to get a bit of thrill just walking through the stage door and going to the conductor’s room or up to the foyer or wherever. It was always good fun.”

    Anne HigginsFriends ManagerScottish Opera

  • Remembering Sir Alexander Gibson

    I remember Sir Alexander Gibson being a really nice man; a nice gentleman. He had this room, which I think is the Production Manager’s office now, or the Stage Manager’s office beside it. I always remember that was Sir Alexander Gibson’s ‘office’, we used to call it. He would be there. I used to get sent down to ask if he wanted tea. I think he’d have preferred cigarettes and pink gin!”

    Drew MoirPerformed at the theatre as a child

  • Moth misses Butterfly

    I had a ticket for the opera Madama Butterfly and regretfully I wasn’t going to be able to go. So I thought, I will return my ticket, somebody else might want to use it. So, back I went to the box-office and I said, “I’m very sorry, but I’m not going to be able to go to Madama Butterfly that night”. And they said, “Oh, right, can we have your name?” You know they were filling in the paperwork – so I said, “Yes, Mrs. Moth.” And the girl sort of looked at me and said, “Pardon?” I said, “Mrs. Moth, first cousin to Madama Butterfly”. “Oh” said she, you see, and she started to laugh. And she said, “I think we should put that one down in the books: Madama Butterfly cancelled by Mrs. Moth!”

    Louise MothScottish Opera Audience Member