Previously is a history festival and if you hurry up you can still catch one or two of the 200+ events which have been organised in the city. What you are unable to do however, is attend the event with Nigel Planer and Ian Rankin, which took place last Thursday…..nice photos though of the James Bond impersonators? (Yes,Nigel Planer, that’s him from The Young Ones…!)

There are many events planned for your delectation and delight in the Previously festival all over the city and beyond.

For example here is just a mini morsel of what is on tomorrow, Tuesday 22 November 2011.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly Lecture at Lauriston Castle starts at 10.30a.m. Using portraits and caricatures from public and private collections, this illustrated talk looks at some of the famous and infamous men and women who contributed to the history of medicine in Edinburgh from the founding of the Incorporation of Surgeons in 1505 to the many surgical advances of the Victorian age.

Sin in the City starts at 6p.m on The Royal Mile. This unique tour is an opportunity to see a different side of the history of Edinburgh. The content may surprise you, it may even shock, but it will definitely entertain.

“Join us for Sin in the City and learn about what sin, seduction and godly discipline meant in centuries past. Your guide will reveal true stories of murder, adultery and betrayal from Edinburgh’s fascinating history.

The tour ends in Megget’s Cellar, a candlelit room above the Vaults in Blair Street, where you can enjoy a complimentary drink and hear more tales of love, lust and passion!”

Tour last 90 mins.

Carl Rosa Opera and Touring Scotland 1874-1900 is on at The Beehive in the Grassmarket from 6.30p.m.

Iain Fraser, publisher and co-founder (with his two brothers) of Opera Scotland, the new website for opera listings and performance history, reveals for the first time some of the results of research by the Opera Scotland team, drawing on the material in a new publication available next year.

The Carl Rosa Opera Company is remembered for touring opera productions right across Britain. The company started to perform main stage opera in Scotland in 1874 (to a quality never before seen in the provinces), and continued to do so, despite some gaps, until 1957. Opera Scotland has by now identified over 2500 of their main stage performances, and just finalised the performance schedule from 1874 to 1900.

Rosa’s aims were to take opera in English to new audiences, involving the latest operas and new artists along with some established stars and proven popular pieces. Iain tells the story through the performances and the personalities involved who performed on the Scottish stage – Rosa himself, various other conductors such as Eugene Goossens father and son, and his singers, who included the great baritone Charles Santley and Marie Roze (who inspired Bizet to conceive Carmen), Aynsley Cook and Zelie de Lussan. Mentioned too are the operas Rosa introduced to Scotland – in the nineteenth century alone they included Flying Dutchman, Merry Wives of Windsor, Manon, Hansel and Gretel, La Boheme and Valkyrie.

The great critic Herman Klein rated Rosa’s achievements in opera in the late nineteenth century as almost unmatched. Certainly he brought opera of a high standard to new and larger audiences, and he and his company deserve their place in Scotland’s first History Festival.

Robert Louis Stevenson was born on 13 November, 1850, and in the week of the anniversary of his birthday, Edinburgh Napier University’s Centre for Literature and Writing (CLAW), in partnership with The City Art Centre, celebrated the occasion by hosting the special evening with Ian Rankin and Nigel Planer.

So here is another photo to show you what you have already missed. Don’t miss the rest of Previously…Scotland’s History Festival which runs till 30 November 2011.


Photos courtesy of Colin Hattersley

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