Opera Scotland

Fidelio 2005Scottish Opera

Read more about the opera Fidelio

The 2004-05 season of Scottish Opera consisted of six events, five being full-scale stagings. Proceedings opened with a double-bill of early twentieth century classics, Duke Bluebeard's Castle and Erwartung. The autumn programme also contained a revival of Tosca, the vintage 1980 staging by the late Anthony Besch. The new year began with a rare sighting in Scotland of an opera by Tippett, The Knot Garden. Handel's wonderful setting of Restoration comedy, Semele, followed, and the fifth full-scale production was a revival of Fidelio. The early part of 2005 also featured a concert version of Andrea Chénier as well as the usual Highlands and Islands tour of Essential Scottish Opera.

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.

Performance Cast

Jaquino Rocco's assistant

Colin Judson

Marzelline Rocco's daughter

Sarah Redgwick

Rocco gaoler

Ulrich D√ľnnebach

Leonore Florestan's wife, disguised as Fidelio

Elizabeth Byrne

Don Pizarro prison governor

Peter Sidhom

First Prisoner

Declan McCusker

Second Prisoner

Steven Faughey

Florestan a Spanish nobleman

Ian Storey

Don Fernando the King's Minister

Michael George

Performance DatesFidelio 2005

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

1 May, 19.15 25 May, 19.15 28 May, 19.15 4 Jun, 14.15 7 Jun, 19.15 10 Jun, 19.15

Festival Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

15 Jun, 19.15 18 Jun, 19.15 21 Jun, 19.15 23 Jun, 19.15 25 Jun, 19.15

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