Month-long festival to be staged at pop-up outdoor theatre in Glasgow this summer

A month-long festival of outdoor music, theatre and opera is to be staged in Glasgow this summer at a temporary pop-up venue.

Scottish Opera is joining forces with the Citizens Theatre and the Scottish Ensemble to stage shows for socially-distanced audiences of up to 150 for each performance.

The car park at Scottish Opera’s production studios in north Glasgow will become home to a venue boasting theatre-style seating for four weeks of shows from 3 July until 1 August.

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The programme will include a brand new Scottish Opera production of Verdi’s Falstaff, a new version of Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors, which the Citizens Theatre will stage, and Scottish Ensemble performances of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons.

Scottish Opera will also stage a series of lunchtime concerts, while its young company will perform Kurt Weill’s comedy The Tsar Has His Photograph Taken as the festival’s finale.

The company used the car park last September for a week-long run of a new version of La Boheme in a pop-up cabaret style venue.

Tickets for its “Live at No. 40” festival, named after the address of its Edington Street studios, are expected to go on sale on 8 June.

The Citizens version of The Comedy of Errors is expected to be one of the first opportunities for theatre fans to see a live show in Glasgow this summer.

Scottish Opera staged an outdoor version of La Boheme outside its Edington Street studios in Glasgow last September. Picture: James Glossop

The Scottish Ensemble will join forces with award-winning homelessness charity Social Bite for programme of “Sound Bite” concerts, which will give audiences the chance to buy specially-created picnic boxes.

Alex Reedjik, general director of Scottish Opera, said: “Live at No. 40 is a celebration of the performing arts industry and its resilience over what’s been a trying and difficult year.

"We’re delighted to have the opportunity to come together with the Scottish Ensemble and the Citizens Theatre to share our car park and mark what we hope will be the beginning of the return to live performance.

"Performing outside allows us the greatest chance to make safe shows and share with the most amount of people.

Samuel Sakker, Elizzabeth Llewellyn, Rhian Lois, Roland Wood appeared in Scottish Opera's production of La Boheme in 2020. Picture: James Glossop

"We can’t wait to welcome audiences back for our selection of performances, to belly laugh, to weep, to be astounded and surprised, in what is sure to be a sensational return to live entertainment.”

Citizens artistic director Dominic Hill said: “We can’t wait to get back on stage and come together again as a community to enjoy a fun Shakespeare comedy in an atmospheric outdoor setting.

“It will be a joyous moment of reunion. While our building continues to be redeveloped, it’s a great opportunity to provide an alternative way to see a Citizens production this summer.”

William Norris, the Scottish Ensemble’s interim chief executive, said: “Vivaldi’s Four Seasons is so ever-fresh, so full of contrast, drama and energy that it seems tailor made for our first public performances in over a year - and we're particularly thrilled to be performing it as part of a great example of cultural team-work.

Citizens Theatre artistic director Dominic Hill. Picture: Tim Morozzo

“As ever though we’re doing things just a little differently, and are so excited to be partnering with Social Bite for these performances.

“Not only will a portion of the proceeds of every ticket purchased go to support their vital work, but they have devised a mouth-watering picnic that will pair perfectly with Vivaldi’s deliciously good music.”

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