Opera Scotland

Pastor Fido 1974Royal Opera, Stockholm

Read more about the opera Pastor Fido

Fifteen years after the Royal Opera from Stockholm had made a first Edinburgh Festival appearance, they returned with a memorable pair of early 20th century masterpieces. Of the four operas brought to Edinburgh by the Swedes in 1974, Jenůfa and Elektra were performed in a conventional, but thrilling, way. The recent work, The Vision of Thérèse, was performed in the round at STV's Gateway studios. A little-known Handel pastorale, Il pastor fido, completed their offering. Scottish Opera ventured into the supposedly rarified world of Gluck for the first time, with an under-rated staging of Alceste. The Festival's own production of Don Giovanni was revived from the previous year. There were also rare performances of two Schoenberg pieces, Pierrot Lunaire with Cleo Laine and Erwartung featuring Anja Silja. They fitted a Schoenberg theme that also included Catherine Gayer in some of his cabaret songs and Heather Harper in the Second Quartet.

The opera schedule was as follows:

First week, commencing 19 Aug: Mon Alceste; Tue -; Wed Don Giovanni; Thu Alceste; Fri Don Giovanni; Sat Alceste.

Second week, commencing 26 Aug: Mon Don Giovanni; Tue Alceste; Wed -; Thu Elektra; Fri -; Sat Jenůfa.

Third week, commencing Sun 1 Sep: Sun Elektra; Mon Vision of Thérèse; Tue Il pastor fido & Vision of Thérèse; Wed Jenůfa; Thu Il pastor fido; Fri Elektra; Sat Jenůfa.

Il pastor fido was performed in the style of production used at the Court Theatre at Drottningholm. the designs being recreations of 18th century originals. The orchestra also wore replica costumes and wigs of the period. The choreography, by renowned British expert Mary Skeaping, was also in authentic style. The King's Theatre - a bit of a squeeze for Elektra - was ideally proportioned for an opera which is still one of the least performed of Handel's works.

The work of Charles Farncombe as conductor was familiar in London, where he conducted two productions for the Handel Opera Society every October at Sadler's Wells. But he was unknown in Scotland, and the change in playing style in the pit was immediately noticeable, even in an era before the universal presence of correct baroque style that we would soon become used to. The singers were uniformly excellent, though perhaps the tenor's tone was wiry and accurate rather than beautiful. Sylvia Lindenstrand's performance was especially appealing.

Performance Cast

Apollo

Margot Rödin

Erato

Laila Andersson

Bacchus

Ragne Wahlroth

Mirtillo a shepherd of obscure origin

Margot Rödin

Amarilli betrothed to Silvio, but in love with Mirtillo

Laila Andersson

Dorinda a shepherdess, in love with Silvio

Sylvia Lindenstrand

Silvio betrothed to Amarilli, but dedicated to Diana

Tord Slättegård

Eurilla a cunning nymph, who secretly loves Mirtillo

Ileana Peterson

Tirenio a High Priest

Sten Wahlund

Performance DatesPastor Fido 1974

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

3 Sep, 19.30 5 Sep, 19.30

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