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National company's season of opera looks great, KidO!

A NEW Scottish Opera show for three-year-olds and the return of one of the country's most acclaimed composers are part of the national company's new season.

James MacMillan is to conduct a new production of his own opera, Ines de Castro, which will be directed by Olivia Fuchs and staged in January.

The year will also see the first performance of Anamchara, written by author Alexander McCall Smith for the Commonwealth Games, to be performed by 120 young musicians and singers.

KidO, for three and four-year-olds, follows on from the national company's successful BabyO and SensoryO shows for babies and toddlers, and will run in the spring and summer of next year. Other operas will include Rossini's La Cenerentola, Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice, Janacek's Jenufa, and Verdi's Il Trovatore.

Speaking of the offer from the composer of Ines de Castro to conduct his own work, Alex Reedijk, general director of Scottish Opera, said: "James is very much in the zeitgeist at the moment.

"The world has moved on in the 18 years since we premiered it, but the piece is still incredibly relevant.

"I wanted to offer it up as part of our commitment to new work, and when he offered to conduct it, I thought this is too good to be true. The new production will re-present the piece not only in the light of the Balkan conflict, but Iraq and Afghanistan, and 'the disappeared' in South America."

Ines de Castro is one of five large scale operas the company is staging in 2014-15, the most the company has staged in six years.

Mr Reedijk said he has "every confidence" that construction of the new foyer at the Theatre Royal in Glasgow, which has been delayed for two months, will be completed in time for the Commonwealth Games. He said the delay had not added to the cost of the revamp of the opera's home. "We hit a bit of bad weather over the winter," he said. "It remains an incredibly complicated building on a tight site."

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