Opera Scotland

Programme cover

Opera hits heights at 70th Anniversary Festival

Posted 3 Sep 2017

In terms of opera, this was the greatest Festival for some considerable time.

For the first time in many years, the Festival had a residency by a major visiting opera company.

The Teatro Regio, Torino, brought Macbeth, the opera that opened that very first Festival back in 1947, together with La bohème, never before seen at the Festival, and a work that was launched at the old Teatro Regio back in 1896. Scottish Opera provided a new staging of Greek, Turnage's ground-breaking piece that was a Festival co-commission in 1988. The last of this year's staged productions was Don Giovanni which under Ivan Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra lived up to its strong cast.

The operas to be performed in concert included a breathtaking Die Walküre, the second instalment of the Festival's four-year survey of the Ring, as well as a very fine Peter Grimes. The 450th anniversary of Monteverdi's birth was celebrated with a marvellous trilogy of concerts in which John Eliot Gardiner conducted L'OrfeoIl ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria and L'incoronazione di Poppea, seen together in Edinburgh for the first time since 1978.

Finally there were three further events, not part of the opera programme, but which should be highlighted. No Festival visit is complete without enjoying a morning concert at the Queen's Hall. Here there was a prelude to the Monteverdi event in the form of Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda in a recently discovered transcription by Heinrich Schütz.

Back in the Usher Hall, the gloriously dramatic Damnation of Faust by Berlioz was performed by Mark Elder and the Hallé, while the Festival continued its exploration of rare Elgar with a revival of the cantata King Olaf.

Truly this was a memorable Festival for opera - one to treasure.

Archive

© Copyright Opera Scotland 2017

Site by SiteBuddha