Opera Scotland

Valkyrie (Act I) 1981Scottish National Orchestra

Read more about the opera Walküre

In those far off days the Scottish National Orchestra's winter season consisted of an Edinburgh concert every Friday, repeated in Glasgow on Saturday. Roughly once a month, eight times every winter, the orchestra would travel north, playing in Aberdeen on Tuesday and Dundee on Wednesday. These schedules were as writ in tablets of stone. Nowadays the total number of concerts has been reduced even in the central belt, and provincial touring has been cut back heavily. This affects Dundee in particular, since it does not receive visits from the BBC SSO or SCO, which do go to Aberdeen.

There was a particular irony here, in that for the 1980/81 winter season, Dundee's Caird Hall, with its renowned acoustic, perfect for Wagner, was closed for renovation, and the concerts took place in the much smaller Perth venue to which subscribers were transported by bus.

Gibson and the SNO had not played music from the Ring since the last performances of Scottish Opera's Walküre production in 1972, but the availability of Jessye Norman, who always enjoyed working with Gibson, provided the ideal opportunity to revisit the work. A return visit in 1983 was cancelled due to illness, so this was the only occasion when Jessye Norman sang in Scotland outside the central belt. The Greenock-born soprano Linda Esther Gray was already a noted Wagnerian, but was embarking on Sieglinde for the first time. Edward Sooter had sung Siegmund in the famous Seattle Ring production, and was making his British debut, And Fritz Hübner was a regular performer of Wagner at Bayreuth.

To complete this evening of Wagner, the programme began with the overture to Rienzi, followed by the Siegfried Idyll.

Performance Cast

Siegmund a Volsung

Edward Sooter

Sieglinde a Volsung, sister of Siegmund

Jessye Norman (Exc Mar 4)

Linda Esther Gray (Mar 4)

Hunding husband of Sieglinde

Fritz Hübner

Performance DatesValkyrie (Act I) 1981

Map List

Music Hall, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

3 Mar, 19.30

City Hall, Perth | Perth

4 Mar, 19.30

Usher Hall | Edinburgh

6 Mar, 19.30

City Halls, Glasgow | Glasgow

7 Mar, 19.30

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