Scottish Opera's orchestra reduced to an upright piano

You cannot take a symphony orchestra, or even an opera pit orchestra, to somewhere like An Lanntair in Stornoway or the Aros centre on Skye.

Well, you could, but you wouldn't be able to get anything else in there, and certainly not a fully staged production of Verdi's La Traviata.

So instead Scottish Opera's touring company take a piano; just a regular upright piano. And they take Susannah Wapshott to play it.

Susannah is not just the pianist; she is the music director for the whole show so she has a huge job, doing a bit of conducting form the keyboard as well.

We wanted to know how she did it. After all, an opera lasts the best part of three hours and the music never stops. No recital pianist would play for that long. As Susannah admits, it takes its toll on her arms and shoulders

And then there's the problem of representing Verdi's lush orchestral colours with a single instrument . Versatile though a piano is, you can't sustain a note the way you can with a violin or a flute; once you have hit that key the sounds starts to die away.

But it's all in a day's work - or at least an evening's work - for Susannah, clearly a versatile musician of the highest order. You can see her and Scottish Opera's touring La Traviata all over Scotland this autumn.

Sat 22 Sept 7.30pm Eastwood Park Theatre, Giffnock

Tue 25 Sept 7.30pm Macrobert, Stirling

Thu 27 Sept 7.30pm Nevis Centre, Fort William

Sat 29 Sept 7.30pm Plockton High School

Thu 2 Oct, 7.30pm Aros Centre, Portree

Thu 4 Oct, 8pm Strathpeffer Pavilion

Sat 6 Oct 7.30pm Byre Theatre, St Andrews

Tue 9 Oct 7.30pm Deeside Theatre, Aboyne

Thu 11 Oct 7.30pm Craigmonie Centre, Drumnadrochit

Sat 13 Oct 7.30pm Haddo House, Ellon

Tue 16 Oct 7.30pm Garrison Theatre, Lerwick

Thu 18 Oct Orkney Arts Theatre, Kirkwall

Sat 20 Oct 7.30pm Thurso High School

Tue 23 Oct 7.30pm Macphail Theatre, Ullapool

Thu 25 Oct 7.30pm An Lanntair, Stornoway

Sat 27 Oct 7.30pm Nairn Community & Arts Centre

Tue 6 Nov 7.30pm The Platform, Easterhouse

Thu 8 November 7.30pm Volunteer Hall, Galashiels

Sat 10 Nov 7.30pm Pitlochry Festival Theatre

Tue 13 Nov 7.30pm The Arts Guild Theatre, Greenock

Thu 15 Nov 7.30pm The Cinema, Newton Stewart

Sat 17 Nov 7.30pm Buccleuch Centre, Langholm

Tue 20 Nov 7.30pm Vikingar, Largs

Thu 22 Nov 7.30pm The Brunton, Musselburgh

Sat 24 Nov 7.30pm Perth Theatre, Perth

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