Opera Scotland

Blood Wedding 1973Hungarian State Opera, Budapest

Read more about the opera Blood Wedding

The operatic component of the 1973 Edinburgh Festival took the form of three elements with little to link them. The schedule was dominated by a staging of Don Giovanni by Peter Ustinov, the elements of which promised well. The English Opera Group made its final appearance with the much-heralded masterpiece of Britten's final years, Death in Venice. The Hungarian State Opera and Ballet had previously visited Edinburgh in 1963, with a triple bill of Bartók's stage works. This time they brought just a pair of them, but compensated by introducing Blood Wedding, a decade-old piece by Szokolay derived from Lorca's play. Their programme as initially announced had also included Handel's Rodelinda, introducing a young Eva Marton in the lead, but this was dropped before the final programme was confirmed.

So far, no other operas by Szokolay have been presented in the UK. If Blood Wedding is in any way typical, that is a pity, because it reveals a definite talent for producing effective music drama. This cast was generally excellent, rightly dominated by the company's leading mezzo, Erzsébet Komlóssy as the bridegroom's long-suffering mother. She had recently played Azucena at Covent Garden in a Trovatore revival with Leontyne Price. Katalin Kasza also appeared as a guest at Covent Garden, this time as Brünnhilde. Several other of these singers had notable international careers, including László Polgár, here already making an impression in the tiny role of third wood-cutter.

Some of the singers, especially male, perhaps looked somewhat older than their characters should have been, but that is the penalty for seeing most of the original cast in a work created a decade earlier. In Britain it is difficult enough for a new work to reach the stage, and very rare for one to be revived with regularity like this.

Performance DatesBlood Wedding 1973

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

27 Aug, 19.30 29 Aug, 19.30

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