Plane crazy: Opera in the airport as cast rehearse for Carmen


A SCOTS opera group have been forced to compete against jumbo jets after using an aircraft hanger at one of the country’s busiest airports for rehearsals.

The plane daft move by the Edinburgh Grand Opera has seen them practice their arias at Edinburgh airport.

A tight budget for the version of Carmen due to be played at the city’s Lyceum theatre meant company chairman and chorus member Geoff Ackers was forced to seek a new rehearsal venue for his cast of 50.

Mezzosoprano Fiona has been rehearsing at the airport

Top mezzosoprano singer Fiona MacDonald has had to project her voice against a back-drop of jet engines and fire drills.

Admitting the new surroundings were unorthodox, Mr Ackers actually toyed with the idea of making the Edinburgh airport location the venue for the final concert.

He said: ‘We hired Spitfire House to build the set and that’s been happening for the last two months then we shifted over to the hangar to erect the set as we got nearby to the opening night.

‘The original idea was to take the whole set and the whole cast to the hangar but the acoustics were pretty terrible so we had scaled it back.’

Carmen’s performance requires a massive set-change in a matter of moments and there was the danger it could affect the enjoyment of customers.

The unusual venue was chosen due to a tight budget

Mr Ackers said: ‘We had to ensure we could do all the set changes with just one interval because if we had two the audience get restless and we’d be paying a lot for a longer concert.

‘The airport was quite and experience and we’re very grateful.’

Edinburgh Airport’s head of communications, Gordon Robertson, said: ‘Our hangars have been used for many purposes over the years but this is the first time that rehearsing for an opera has been done at the airport. We wish them success.’

Edinburgh Grand Opera began showcasing in 1956 and started producing full operas within only a few years and have continued to be a success with appearances from professional singers and stars.

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