AFTER Francesco Corti signed off with the concert performance of Turandot at Edinburgh's Usher Hall at the end of last month, Scottish Opera announced the interim measure of appointing Sir Thomas Allen as music adviser while the search for a new music director continues.
Sir Tom has made the transition from his career as a lyric baritone on the opera stages of the world to directing his own productions to a great extent under the auspices of Scottish Opera, after making his directorial debut at London's Royal College of Music, where he himself studied, with Britten's Albert Herring. His Scottish Opera stagings of Rossini's Barber of Seville and Mozart's Marriage of Figaro, Magic Flute and Don Giovanni have been both acclaimed and popualr with audiences.
In his new post, the company said the Sir Thomas "will provide high level input and advice on musical and artistic matters." General director Alex Reeijk added: "The work he has done with us over the last seven years means he has an invaluable insight and understanding of Scottish Opera and I am looking forward to working with him in this new role."
Plans to revive
THE much-loved Byre theatre in St Andrews may be rescued if a plan by the town's historic university is approved by Fife Council next week. The university proposes to take over the running of the venue, using it for lectures, teaching and rehearsals by day with public events at night. Promising to spend money on improvind the acoustics of the main auditorium, the plan envisages enhanced partnerships with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Scottish Opera and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra with regular visists by professional touring theatre companies as well as student and community productions and the return of an annual pantomime. As well as a tole in StAnza, St Andrews Voices and the Fife Jazz Festival, it is hoped that it will screen live broadcasts from the National Theatre and Royal Opera in London and the New York Metropolitan Opera. The bid will be considered with other plans to run the venue by Fife Council on Tuesday.