Opera Scotland

Soldaten 1972Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Düsseldorf & Duisburg

Read more about the opera Soldaten

One of the most controversial operas from the 1960s here received its British premiere in an astonishing act of compression within the confines of the King's Theatre. It actually worked very well in the circumstances,  Sometimes three stages, representing different locations, carried action simultaneously.  The orchestra was huge, and very (very!) loud.

Several of the singers - at least the rapacious officers - were forced to scream at the extreme upper range of their voices - poor Anton de Ridder had a particularly gruelling time.  It was amazing that the wonderful Catherine Gayer and Peter-Christoph Runge, as the central characters, both gave superb accounts of their exhausting roles, on the face of Lulu meeting Wozzeck, only more so.

Marius Rintzler was a familiar visitor, at least in concert.  Trudeliese Schmidt was about to sing Octavian at Salzburg  and would return to Scotland as a late substitute in that part with Scottish Opera.

 

Opera at the Edinburgh Festival - 1972

The Festival 's opening week contained Scottish Opera's 1969 staging of The Trojans, revived with Janet Baker as Dido and Helga Dernesch as Cassandra.

There was a guest company - an unfamiliar German team, the Deutsche Oper am Rhein from Düsseldorf and Duisberg.  They brought two highly contrasted pieces.  Die Soldaten, by the late Bernd Alois Zimmermann, was a large-scale modern piece of music theatre.  Their other work was a complete contrast - a very early example of opera, or perhaps staged oratorio, Emilio de' Cavalieri's Rappresentatione di Anima e di Corpo.

The second team of visitors was the Teatro Massimo from Palermo.  Three rarities from the Italian  ottocento repertoire were presented.  The Rossini was the recently-revived first of his important Naples commissions, Elisabetta, regina d'Inghilterra.  The Verdi was the early Attila.  It was also essential that this company should feature a work by a Sicilian composer.  The obvious candidate, Bellini, was represented by an unknown early work,  La straniera.

In sum, the operas were by Cavalieri (Rappresentatione di Anima e di Corpo);  Rossini (Elisabetta, regina d'Inghilterra);  Bellini (La straniera);  Berlioz (The Trojans);  Verdi (Attila); Zimmermann (Die Soldaten)

Among the concerts at the Usher Hall, Daniel Barenboim conducted the London Philharmonic in two performances of the Brahms German Requiem.  Mahler's vocal symphony Das Lied von der Erde was presented by the Berlin Philharmonic and Herbert von Karajan.

The opera schedule was as follows:

Week commencing 21 August:  Mon 21 Die Soldaten; Tue 22 Die Soldaten; Wed 23 np;  Thu 24 Rappresentatione di Anima e di Corpo & The Trojans;  25 Rappresentatione;  26 The Trojans.

Week commencing 28 August: Mon 28 Attila;  Tue 29 np;  Wed 30 Attila;  Thu 31 La straniera;  Fri 1 Sep Attila;  Sat 2 La straniera.

Week commencing 4 September: Mon 4 Elisabetta, regina d'Inghilterra;  Tue 5 La straniera;  Wed 6 The Trojans;  Thus 7 Elisabetta;  Fri 8 La straniera;  Sat 9 Elisabetta.

Performance DatesSoldaten 1972

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

21 Aug, 19.30 22 Aug, 19.30

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