Opera Scotland

Les Troyens

Edinburgh International Festival

Posted 18 Mar 2014

The programme for the 2014 Edinburgh International Festival has been announced.

The key issue is that the number of opera performances (main stage and concert combined) remains at an historic low. We are to see only five mainstage performances - three of Berlioz's The Trojans by the Mariinsky Opera from St Petersburg, and two of Benjamin Britten's rarely performed Owen Wingrave (originally composed for television). Last Festival there were only six opera performances, compared with fifteen or so under the various predecessors of Jonathan Mills. OperaScotland had hoped for a return towards previous levels.

A concert performance of Rossini's William Tell at the Usher Hall completes the operatic bill of fare. This has not been heard in Scotland for many years. The Britten will be a Scottish premiere.

Obviously we can take pleasure at the prospect of seeing the Trojans again - there is a Scottish connection with this work as the first ever UK performance was given in Glasgow under the great Erik Chisholm. But it is hard to avoid some sense of disappointment that we should be restricted to seeing only two operas on stage. Perhaps opera lovers are suffering from the repositioning of the Festival to meet Mills's new vision, his 'Brave New World' reflecting globalisation. 

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