This was an excellent revival of Tim Albery's Fidelio staging, much improved since its first run in 1994, both as a production and in terms of most of the singing. However the symbolic impact was also considerable. Scottish Opera's financial position had become dire and the enforced decision had been taken to close down main-stage operations for a year - a brutal but effective way of eliminating a substantial deficit. Fidelio, with the chorus in full cry, was certainly a dramatic way to sign off, but the fact that chorus members were to be made redundant seemed a shocking waste. Richard Armstrong's orchestra was marvellous. Ian Storey's Florestan and Peter Sidhom's Pizarro were near ideal, both musically and dramatically. Like many Wagnerian sopranos who attempt Leonore, Elizabeth Byrne struggled with the demanding coloratura elements of her music, but created a thoroughly convincing character. There were no weak links elsewhere.
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