The Lady From The Sea – Scottish Opera

Armstrong releases his first opera recording with the Orchestra of Scottish Opera and conducted by Derek Clark.  This is an original co-production from Scottish Opera and Edinburgh International Festival.

“(Armstrong) has devised a score that is intoxicating in the images it amplifies – a dense minimalist soundscape…”

Ken Walton – Scotsman

Though both Armstrong and Strachan have produced work for the experimental Scottish Opera program, Five:15 – Operas Made in Scotland, this is the first time they have worked together.  The Lady From The Sea is written for a chamber orchestra and eight voices. The original stage production of the opera in 2012, was directed by Harry Fehr, stage design by Yannis Thavoris, and featured film by the video designer Finn Ross.

Album tracks

1Fjord 1
2The Game
5My First Wife’s Birthday
6Here’s Our Mermaid Now
7Still The Same Ellida
May I Take The Liberty
9Fjord 2
10It’s Too Hot
11Free At Last
12Look At Them
13Isn’t It Pretty Here
14Salt In The Air
15The Captain
16The Ship (He Returns)
17Ellida (The Heat Remains)
18We Made An Oath
19Fjord 3
20Hilde’s Such A Mischief Maker
21Still Light
22Not Long Now
23See You At The Fjord
24Can’t She See What I Long For
25The Ship
27Night Falls
28I Know You
29Ellida You Are Mine

The Opera

Scottish Opera have commissioned a new work from Craig Armstrong. It was premiered on the 29th August at Edinburgh International Festival 2012.

Ibsen’s darkly beautiful drama

Ellida, the daughter of a lighthouse keeper, lives a narrow life with a husband several years her senior. Full of longing for the sea and for freedom she does not have, she is shaken from her lethargy when the unexpected arrival of a mysterious stranger creates a storm that threatens to submerge the whole family. He offers an escape from the stifling world she inhabits, and Ellida must decide whether to do her duty or answer the call of the sea…

This re-telling of Ibsen’s darkly beautiful drama written in 1888, unites Craig Armstrong and award-winning author Zoë Strachan. The libretto captures the intoxicating and stifling atmosphere of the original play. Whilst Armstrong’s score amplifies the densely felt landscape, clearly transporting the listener alongside Ellida’s feelings of entrapment and overwhelm. This darkly beautiful opera captures Ibsen’s haunting love story, garnering The Herald Angel Award after its premiere at Edinburgh International Festival. 

This recording was supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland, Scottish Opera, and the PRS Foundation.


Ellida Wangel (Dr Wangel’s 2nd Wife)Rebecca Bottone, soprano
Dr Wangel (A country doctor)Mark Milhofer, tenor
Bolette (Wangel’s daughter by his first wifeSarah Shorter, mezzo-soprano
Hilde (Wangel’s daughter by his first wife)Daire Halpin, soprano 
Arnholm  (A school master)Stephan Loges, baritone
Lyngstrand ( An aspiring artist)Alexander Sprague, tenor
Ballested  (A painter)David Morrison, bass
The Stranger (Ellida’s first love) Benedict Nelson, baritone

Artists: Craig Armstrong, The Orchestra Of Scottish Opera
Release Date:
Label: CMA Records trading as Symphonic Ltd
Format: Digital