Opera Scotland

Roi Arthus 2000Edinburgh International Festival

Read more about the opera Roi Arthus

Le Roi Arthus is a fascinating example of the neglected but still important operas which should be revived from time to time, if only in concert. This was its British premiere, and it contained many elements which were thoroughly enjoyable.

However the fundamental challenge for this work will always be that its plot invites comparison with Tristan und Isolde. Symptomatic of this is the fact that the title role and central character is the wronged husband. Wagner knew better than to call his masterpiece King Mark, and his King doesn't appear until half-way through.

In Roi Arthus as the title suggests, Chausson makes him central, and even when, like Simon Keenlyside here, he dominates the other performers effectively, dramatic interest is still lacking. In this performance, beautifully conducted by Chaslin, the cast was uniformly good, with strong contributions frtyom Neal Davies, Christopher Maltman and Hubert Delamboye. Perhaps the exception was the Guinevere, who was a late replacement for Christine Brewer, and ill-at-ease. The opera however is certailnly worth hearing. Perhaps a strongly-directed staging might actually help to conceal the weaknesses inherent in the work.

Performance Cast

Arthus King Arthur

Simon Keenlyside

Mordred a knight

Neal Davies

Lyonnel Lancelot's squire

Marc Laho

Lancelot a knight

Hubert Delamboye

Genièvre Guinevere, Arthur's queen

Françoise Pollet

Allan Guinevere's servant

Neal Davies

Merlin a wizard

Christopher Maltman

Production Cast

Conductor

Frédéric Chaslin

Performance DatesRoi Arthus 2000

Map List

Festival Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

22 Aug, 19.30

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