Original cast member William Morgan is glad to be back on a second tour of Opera Highlights
This is the first time Scottish Opera have ever “revived” an Opera Highlights production, and indeed the first time the company has produced Highlights twice in the same season.
Having left our show behind only last October, I suddenly found myself back on the train up to a slightly colder Glasgow than last time, ready to begin working on it again.
I was especially intrigued to discover that it is not the same show as last autumn! ‘
“…the show is entirely made by the people in it”
Yes, most of the notes may be the same, and even the vast majority of the words. The set, the lighting and the costumes also bear a striking resemblance to those we brought out for the first time back in September, but the show is entirely made by the people in it, and with three new singers and a new pianist, it has taken on a very different feel.
With such a small group of people, one of the most enjoyable things about Highlights is how flexible it is. In the two weeks of rehearsal it was fascinating to take a show I knew very well and go about reinventing it. This was a completely new process for me, and one I enjoyed very much.
Opening night was swiftly upon us, and after just two weeks in the studio we were at our first theatre in Livingston. The procedure was enjoyably familiar: arrive, walk around the set, have a briefing from our dear leader (Stage Manager) Rob Coupe about the particulars of the venue, and a rehearsal with our musical director Patrick Milne.
This theatre was a relatively local one, before we start the more extensive tour, and it was a delight to perform to a home crowd to set us on our way, full of members and supporters of the Company.
Our first foray into slightly more rural territory came with our second performance in Hawick. Still commuting from Glasgow, this nonetheless felt like the first step onto the tour. A very different and extremely intimate venue, we were really starting to get into the rhythm of the piece. And with our third show in Callander, maybe most excitingly for me, we started to get a view of the mountains…
It is a delight to be returning to Opera Highlights, and to be working on this show again with a new group. I can’t wait to get to know new places, walk on some new terrain, and meet new audiences. Already in our three shows we have evolved – or my and Rob’s 21 shows depending on how you look at it – and each one is different from the last.
Bring on the next dozen!