Opera Scotland

New Opera Group

The New Opera Group was established in Dundee on Sunday, 9 May 1965. David Duke, an actor and musical director at Dundee Rep, was the driving force behind the company. At the Rep he had been connected with many productions, including Let's Make an OperaThe MediumEdwardian Music HallSalad Days and Expresso Bongo.

The inspiration came from the two performances of Britten's Let's Make an Opera, mounted at Dundee Rep on 14/15 February 1965. David Duke was a masterly and enthusiastic director of the proceedings, getting the required audience participation apparently without effort.

The company then produced works by Menotti (The Telephone, The Medium, Amahl and the Night Visitors); Holst (Savitri); Offenbach (the Antonia act from Tales of Hoffmann); Wolf-Ferrari (Susanna's Secret) and Mozart (Marriage of Figaro).

Sadly, by the time they were preparing the staging of Marriage of Figaro the following June, he was in hospital in London and died. His successor, William Cox-Ife, conducted Figaro, but was killed in a plane crash soon after. The company did not continue.

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