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Founded back in 1968, under the guidance of University professors and lecturers, what was originally known as Edinburgh University Opera Club aimed to perform high standard opera. From their first ever performance premiering Monteverdi’s opera L’Orfeo in the UK, over the last 48 years, the society has undergone much change. Now named Edinburgh Studio Opera (ESO), we are run solely by students and have seen ever-increasing success over the years.
The Society aims to involve as many students as possible in all areas of our shows. This means not only in the running and organisation within the committee, but also from the creative side of things, such as set design, tech and stage management. As some of our members have little experience of opera, we like to have a professional director and musical director lead, as this can allow everyone to keep up and be guided. The opportunity to work with professional artists is an invaluable experience for our members, provides a richer final production for the audience, and helps further young professionals’ career paths.
What we do throughout the year
The focus of our society is the annual performance, this year taking place during the week from the 28th of February until the 4th of March. We rehearse up to twice a week on Monday and Friday evenings, usually rewarding our hard work with a trip to the pub!
As well as our show, we also hold events throughout the year to widen the Society’s presence on campus and to show off what we can do. Last year, we held a large Gala Dinner to launch our new look and this was held at The Balmoral and was a massive success. It gave us all a chance to dress up, eat food, and listen to some talented musicians. We also hold smaller events during the semester, such as the Hora del Fiesta in Teviot Underground that launched our most recent show, Carmen.
Keep an eye out on our Facebook page in order to up to date about upcoming events.
What do people say about our productions?
Praise for our 2018 show Dido & Aeneas and Gianni Schicchi:
**** "REMARKABLE AND *** INTERESTING" (All Edinburgh Theatre)
Some praise for our 2016 show Carmen:
**** "AN ENJOYABLE SHOW FOR BOTH LONG STANDING LOVERS OF CARMEN AND OPERA NOVICES ALIKE" (TV Bomb)
**** "A STRONG, COMPELLING PIECE OF THEATRE" (Broadway Baby)
**** “FOR SUCH A YOUNG COMPANY TO PRODUCE A WORK OF SUCH MASTERFUL QUALITY… SOMETIMES YOU JUST HAVE TO BE IN AWE.” (Edinburgh49)
And other past productions:
***** "It really was a great evening of serious fun and music - meticulously directed." (EdinburghGuide)
***** "Very British And Very Good!"
**** “Memorable for all the right reasons” (The Reviews Hub)
“The wonder of ESO is the poised and professional performance they never fail to deliver.”
"Last Week I was in London and saw 5 operas in 5 days at Covent Garden and the Coliseum however I have to say that none of them gave me as much pleasure as did [ESO's] King Arthur..."
"A truly great piece which you would find it nearly impossible to better" (Annals of Edinburgh Stage)
"The musical performance was on a very high level." (Opera Scotland)
How can you get involved?
We are looking for keen singers to join our cast for this year’s show! To book an audition or to find out more about this society, please visit our stall at the Freshers' Fair or email email@example.com. Our workshop this year will be on Friday 14th September at 1.30pm - this is an hour and a half to meet some of our members, sing a little opera and get some tips for the audition. Do come along if you think you might enjoy this society, it’s a great taster and a chance to play some drama games with the team.
ESO is always looking for people who are interested in opera and would like to work with us on future productions. If you are interested in any facet of theatre production, we would love to hear from you. Please e-mail our secretary for further details at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Of course you can get involved by just coming along to any of our events and supporting this student-run society.
Most importantly, please like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and Twitter - here is where we will post updates and opportunities to get involved in this fantastic society! We can’t wait to see you soon.