First Minister Nicola Sturgeon visited Scottish Opera’s production studios in Glasgow, to mark the recent easing of Covid restrictions in Scotland’s entertainment sector.
The Prime Minister toured the Edington Street building, which was purpose-built in 1997 to house the Society’s technical and educational departments, by Scottish Opera chief executive Alex Reedijk and chairman Peter Lawson.
What did she do in the Scottish Opera building?
She spent time in the rehearsal room for the new production of Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which is directed by Dominic Hill and opens at the Theater Royal Glasgow on February 22. The show’s cast and creative team met the Prime Minister, as did members of the children’s choir, aged 9 to 13 and hailing from across Scotland.
She also met many of the skilled craftspeople who form the backbone of Scotland’s vibrant theater and opera scene and fuel the film industry, including carpenters, metalworkers, scenic painters, designers, props , costume and wig makers as well as make-up artists. It is an important and growing industry in Scotland, which offers many opportunities for young people to develop their craft.
Also during the visit, Jane Davidson, the Society’s Outreach and Education Director, spoke with the Premier about Breath Cycle, Scottish Opera’s online project designed to benefit people with a range of conditions affecting lung health, especially Long Covid.
Carried out with the support of key NHS consultants and physiotherapists, the second block of Breath Cycle began last week following the success of the first sessions in 2021.
What did Nicola Sturgeon say?
Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Today I saw how many skilled jobs production like this supports; the actors on stage, the people working behind the scenes designing sets and costumes, and the countless hours they devote to bringing a production like A Midsummer Night’s Dream to life.
“It is also remarkable that Scottish Opera is able to use its respiratory training to help people with long Covid, which we know cannot be managed with a one-size-fits-all approach, so to hear the difference that approach innovative fact is extremely impressive.
“I am immensely grateful to everyone who has adhered to the protective measures in place over the past few months – it is thanks to these collective efforts that we are now able to resume concerts, shows, sporting events and other events. urges all who are in a position to support productions like this to do so – you will be supporting the livelihoods of the many skilled artists who work in our vital performing arts industry.
Alex Reedijk, Chief Executive of Scottish Opera, said: “After a difficult few years, the recent announcement of the easing of restrictions has been welcome to all of us in the entertainment industry across Scotland.
“Ours is such a huge industry, with a lockdown affecting so many artists, singers, musicians and workers and manufacturers behind the scenes.
“Throughout the pandemic we at Scottish Opera have worked hard to adapt our performances, moving them both online and off, but I have to say it is a real pleasure to be finally back in theaters. We will continue to prioritize the safety of our audiences, with reinforced ventilation and the compulsory wearing of masks in our rooms.
“As well as A Midsummer Night’s Dream, we have a packed schedule of upcoming shows, including an 18-venue Opera Highlights Tour, a The Last Aliens Primary Schools Tour which travels across Scotland from Glasgow to Shetland, as well as our Breathing and Memory Cycle Sessions We hope that as many people as possible will join us for these fantastic shows.