Opera Scotland

Whirlpool 1990Slovak National Opera, Bratislava

Read more about the opera Whirlpool

The Slovak National Opera brought four operas to Edinburgh in 1990. The internationally renowned classics, Faust and Prince Igor, were given thoroughly enjoyable performances in the vast spaces of the Playhouse. Their native offering was wisely presented in the more intimate space of the King's. Julietta was known to be an interesting curiosity, and its composer was one of the central features of that Festival - sometimes to the point of over-exposure. The fourth offering, given a single outing, was a British premiere, and presented to us as the most successful opera by a Slovak composer since the war.

The Whirlpool did not live up to its hype, which was rather a shame. Perhaps too many people were hoping to discover an unsung masterpiece, as had happened in 1987 when the Finns brought Merikanto's Juha to the same venue. In the event, it was found to be a perfectly competent piece of a melodramatic nature, set in a rural community, with plenty of dancing. That description makes it sound a bit like Jenůfa, and that was the fundamental problem, since The Whirlpool lost out decisively whenever such a comparison was made.

Still, it had a decent performance, led by the superb lyric soprano of Lubica Rybárska, who had been an equally good Yaroslavna in Prince Igor. The tenor singing Ondrej was a late replacement, but gave a good impression.

Performance DatesWhirlpool 1990

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Kings Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

27 Aug, 19.30

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