If you already have your tickets organised for the Christmas period then perhaps this will allow you to look beyond the festive madness and plan for January when acclaimed Scottish composer, James MacMillan will conduct his opera, Inés de Castro for the first time at performances in Edinburgh.

Of course tickets might also make a great Christmas present for the opera lover on your list. Hailed “a major triumph” when it was premiered by Scottish Opera in 1996, this new production has given Macmillan the chance to revisit, and alter, the original score.

Composer and Conductor, James MacMillan said:

“In the 20 years that have lapsed since composing the work I have been able to rethink some of it for this revival, and I hope that it will communicate even more strongly second time round. Inés was my first large-scale theatrical work and I’ve been able to bring subsequent experience, in terms of theatrical pacing, musical expression and various different approaches to music drama, to bear on the way I approached the trimmings and tightenings that I now feel were necessary for Inés.

“I am proud to be able to work with Scotland’s national opera company, Scottish Opera, and I hope that our performances will draw our audiences into the drama and emotion of this great, tragic love story from long ago.”

Based on the play by Jo Clifford – itself rooted in historical events – Inés de Castro tells the tragic and horrifying story of Inés, Spanish mistress to the Portuguese crown prince, who finds herself in a nightmare of deadly political and personal intrigue as the two kingdoms go to war.

Director, Olivia Fuchs’ new production explores the idea of ‘the enemy within’ and is inspired by the 1970s dictatorships of South America, Spain and Portugal – societies characterised by torture, oppression and civil rights abuse – and the staging reflects a world of concrete, steel and ash.

Stephanie Corley (Pirates of Penzance, 2013) returns to Scottish Opera to sing the role of Inés, while former Royal Opera House principal Peter Wedd makes his debut with the Company. Soprano Susannah Glanville, praised for singing with “rapturous intensity” (Tosca 2012), sings Blanca. Paul Carey Jones, whose performances with Scottish Opera in Hansel & Gretel were hailed as “outstanding”, will sing the role of scheming Pacheco, while world-renowned bass Brindley Sherratt takes on the role of the King.

Festival Theatre, 13–29 Nicolson Street, Edinburgh EH8 9FT

Thu 29 Jan 7.15pm

Sat 31 Jan 7.15pm

Free events

Inés de Castro Unwrapped Fri 30 Jan 6.00pm

Pre-show talk Sat 31 Jan 6.00pm

Tickets here