Scotland's National Performing Arts Companies

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  • Actor Alan Cumming who appears in the National Theatre of Scotland's Macbeth
    Actor Alan Cumming © Appearing in the National Theatre of Scotland's Macbeth
  • String players from the Royal Scottish National Orchestra
    The Royal Scottish National Orchestra
  • A dancer from Scottish Ballet's The Nutcracker
    A scene from Scottish Ballet's The Nutcracker © Graham Wylie
  • Musicians from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra
    Scottish Chamber Orchestra © Chris Christodoulou
  • Singers from Scottish Opera dressed in 18th century costumes perform A Rake's Progress
    Scottish Opera performs The Rake's Progress by Stravinsky © Mark Hamilton

Scotland's national performing arts companies highlight the brilliant diversity of the country's cultural scene.

Come and experience Scotland’s five national performing arts companies and discover awe-inspiring ballet, theatre, classical music and opera at world-class venues and great concert halls across the country, these performances are not to be missed. Catch a show or concert in our seven major cities or on tour across the country during spring and summer.

RSNO String players from the Royal Scottish National Orchestra

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) is one of the leading symphony orchestras in Europe and regularly welcomes highly acclaimed soloists and conductors to perform with its 80 musicians. Highlights during the 2012 seasons included Berlioz’s Rob Roy Overture, Bizet’s The Fair Maid of Perth and McEwen’s Where the Wild Thyme Blows

Three dancers perform athletic poses

Scottish Ballet

Scotland’s national classical dance company, Scottish Ballet, brings exciting world premieres to the Scottish stage. 2012 season highlights included the powerful infusion of drama and dance in Nancy Meckler’s vibrant new take on A Streetcar Named Desire. Summer 2012 saw Scottish Ballet join forces with English National Ballet and the National Dance Company Wales for Dance GB, a groundbreaking celebration of dance inspired by the London 2012 Olympic Games. Scottish Ballet’s hugely successful production of The Nutcracker came to stages across the country in December and January 2013.

National Theatre of Scotland

The National Theatre of Scotland (NTS) has received acclaim for its imaginative and thought-provoking performances and productions across the world. During the 2012 season, the Theatre joined forces with Glasgow’s Òran Mór and Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre to present new work from across the Arab world in One Day in Spring. In early summer, actor Alan Cumming returned to Scotland to perform an innovative and radical take on Macbeth at Glasgow’s Tramway. Autumn had a distinctly Scottish flavour with a new production of The Guid Sisters by Michel Tremblay, while winter featured the feel-good musical, Glasgow Girls.

Scottish Chamber Orchestra Scottish Chamber Orchestra musicians

The Scottish Chamber Orchestra (SCO) is recognised as one of the finest chamber orchestras in the world and performs across the country throughout the year. Recent highlights included Vivaldi’s ever-popular Four Seasons with celebrated Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti. The orchestra also performs in some of the most beautiful churches in Fife as part of the annual East Neuk Festival in late June. Other highlights included a concert against the stunning backdrop of Stirling Castle and the final concert of the Edinburgh International Festival, the Virgin Money Fireworks Concert in Princes Street Gardens in September.

Singers from Scottish OPera perform the The Barber of SevilleScottish Opera

Following the successful production of The Rake’s Progress, Scotland’s largest performing arts company, Scottish Opera, performed a revival of Anthony Beech’s internationally acclaimed 1980 production of Puccini’s Tosca. One of last season's highlights was an afternoon at St Andrew's in the Square in Glasgow where the audience enjoyed a selection of arias from popular composers such as Brahms, Schumann and Mozart and music from Stravinsky, Prokofiev and Martucci.

Find more arts and cultural events across Scotland.