The Byre theatre will reopen its doors on Sunday 15 June for its first performance since closure in January 2013.
A three-day run of the comic opera Albert Herring will provide a taste of things to come at the theatre under the University’s rescue package.
In April of this year, Fife Council accepted the University’s proposal of leasing the theatre, using it for lectures during the day and leaving it open for performances and community use during the evenings, weekends and holidays.
This new collaborative production will see a cast of undergraduates and local children, working with a professional director and orchestra, bring Benjamin Britten’s opera to life. Depicting small town life, the show tells the tale of goody-goody Albert Herring, who is named ‘May King’ in the absence of a verifiable female virgin to be Queen at the local May Day celebrations. After having a drink on the day, however, he sets off to explore all the pleasures of life he has been missing out on.
Michael Downes, director of music at the University, is involved in the production. He said: “The Byre offers a wonderful space not only for theatre of all kinds but also for small-scale opera, with an intimacy that allows emotions to be clearly communicated, an acoustic that will allow every word of Eric Crozier’s superbly witty libretto to be heard, and a pit that will showcase our professional orchestra to best advantage. I am delighted that the extremely talented students who make up St Andrews Opera will once again have the chance to perform in this beautiful venue, and look forward to showing the product of their hard work to the St Andrews community as a whole.”
After its run at the Byre, the show will go on tour to the Beacon Arts Centre in Greenock on Thursday 19 June and Perth Concert Hall on Saturday 28 June.
Tickets for performances at the Byre cost £5 for students and those under 26 (£14 full price and £11 concession) and are available from the Music Centre office in Younger Hall; call 01334 462 226 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.