Scottish Opera

St Mary's Parish Church, Haddington

Fri 21 Sept 8pm

Scottish Opera

Duration approx. 1 hour 20 mins

The Burning Fiery Furnace



Half price concession for children and students in full time education on £25 and £17.50 prices


In this major festival event, Scottish Opera makes its Lammermuir Festival debut with a new semi-staging of the second of Britten’s intensely dramatic and atmospheric ‘church parables’. Ideally presented in Haddington’s great mediaeval church of St Mary and scored for solo singers, chorus and instrumental ensemble, The Burning Fiery Furnace tells the biblical story of Nebuchadnezzar and the three Israelites thrown into a furnace for refusing to worship the king. But God saves them, the voice of an angel joining them in a ‘Benedicite’.

Reviewing “this dazzling score” after the opera’s 1966 premiere the critic John Warrack compared it with its predecessor Curlew River, saying that Britten here “finds more room for colour and incident” and “a gain in richness and humanity. The scoring expands . . . most thrillingly in a Babylonian march of stamping pagan violence around the church, in the flickering sting of the fire music, in the lash of the added range of percussion. But the most haunting sound is again vocal – that of the clear treble that pierces the texture to make the [angel’s] voice in the furnace.”

Seating Plan

See ticket prices for St. Mary’s Parish Church, Haddington below.

St. Mary’s Parish Church, Haddington

The Collegiate Church of St Mary the Virgin is one of the great ecclesiastical buildings of mediaeval Scotland, founded in 1380 and known for centuries as "The Lamp of Lothian".

It was severely damaged in the 16th Century during Henry VIII's 'Rough Wooing' of Scotland, and after the Reformation only the nave was used as a parish church, with the choir and tower remaining roofless.

It was finally restored to its former glory in the 1970s, and is Scotland's longest church as well as one of its most beautiful, with a wonderfully warm, resonant acoustic.

St. Mary’s Parish Church, Haddington


St. Mary’s Parish Church, Haddington
EH41 4BZ

Getting there by bus

Several Edinburgh to Haddington routes to the Market Street bus stop. Also Perryman’s 253 service from Edinburgh Bus Station – Berwick, stopping in Haddington. All drop off in the High St, approx. 5-8 mins walk from the church.

Getting there by train

Edinburgh to North Berwick service every hour. Nearest station is Drem. Taxi info on station notice board.

Getting there by car

Haddington is 20 miles East of Edinburgh along the A1 dual carriageway. Travelling East take the second exit to Haddington – St Mary’s is signposted from the main road. Look to the South, and you will see the old church tower in the distance.



There is free on-street parking 100m from the church, on the road, and throughout the town.

Only disabled parking is allowed in the church grounds. There are 3 disabled spaces. Please email if you require one of these spaces.

Please note:
10 Sept at 1900 Jeremy Denk with the RSNO – spaces are now all booked.
14 Sept at 1930 SCO – spaces are now all booked.


Tarmac and gravel

Induction Loop:

Good male/female provision plus adapted toilet for disabled.

Wheelchair Access:

Access is via the North Side (side) door, available 30 minutes before concert. Press bell for assistance. Level access into venue.

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