Soap’s Scottish success
Wellington opera director Colin McColl was interviewed by The Scotsman on the eve of the opening night of Rossini’s The Italian Girl in Algiers at Glasgow’s Theatre Royal. Has Scottish Opera lost its marbles again? Is it about to do to Rossini what Jerry Springer the Opera did to Jesus Christ? If the popular success of McColl’s original version of this production in New Zealand earlier this year is anything to go by (Scottish Opera is collaborating with New Zealand Opera on this one), then it may not be as sacrilegious as it seems. McColl openly admits to going down an “outrageous” route, but presents a rationale that is genuine and sound. “I wish I could say I was laying down a gauntlet, but this is just my response to the opera.” McColl acknowledges the greater freedom he enjoys in the southern hemisphere. “We are not so bound by the European tradition. Like our wines, we do it our way, so there’s scope for exploration.” The Guardian gave the Glasgow show four stars, calling the modernist production “delightfully irreverent”, “a lot of fun and not to be missed”. McColl has won three Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards for Best Director. He co-founded Wellington’s Taki Rua Theatre in 1983 and was artistic director of Downstage Theatre from 1984–1992. The Italian Girl in Algiers tours to Inverness on 7 November, Aberdeen on 14 November and Edinburgh on 21 November.