Opera Scotland

Masnadieri 1998Royal Opera

Read more about the opera Masnadieri

The extended closure of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, to allow for its spectacular redevelopment had the benefit for Scottish audiences of making its resident company available to visit the Edinburgh Festival Theatre for the 1997 and 1998 Festivals.

The 1998 Edinburgh Festival mounted something of a Verdi celebration, with two operas on stage and a further two in concert. After the successful visit the year before, and with the Royal Opera House still undergoing its superb rejuvenation, it was a sensible idea for the Royal Opera to come north for a second year. Their full stagings were I masnadieri (brand new, not yet seen in London) and Don Carlos, with a concert version of Luisa Miller. For good measure, the Festival itself put together a thoroughly enjoyable Giovanna d'Arco.

A further happy feature of this presentation is the fact that the four operas were the ones that Verdi selected from the works of Schiller. The great German dramatist also formed a centrepiece of the drama programme, and the source work for I masnadieri, Die Räuber (The Robbers) was staged by the Citizens' Theatre from Glasgow, in a new translation by Robert David Macdonald. Perhaps the seeds of this triumphant scheme had been sown when the 1995 Festival had hosted the same company and translator in their version of Don Carlos.

This welcome Scottish première was also the first UK staging of Verdi's London opera since the Welsh National production in the 1970s. Sir Edward Downes was a superb conductor of a wide range of music, and particularly associated with Verdi. He rarely worked in Scotland, though his career had started at Aberdeen University. The big selling-point for these performances was the only operatic appearance in Scotland by Dmitri Hvorostovsky. Carlo Colombara also gave a superb example of smooth-toned but dramatic Verdian singing.

Performance Cast

Rolla a companion of Carlo Moor

Gerard Quinn

Massimiliano Count Moor

Carlo Colombara

Carlo the Count's elder son

Franco Farina

Francesco Carlo's brother

Dmitri Hvorostovsky

Amalia the Count's ward, loved by Carlo

Paula Delligatti

Arminio

Timothy Robinson

Moser

Julian Konstantinov

Performance DatesMasnadieri 1998

Map List

Festival Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

19 Aug, 19.15 21 Aug, 19.15 24 Aug, 19.15

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