Opera Scotland

Mavra 1956Hamburg State Opera

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Leopold Ludwig and his Hamburg forces had gained invaluable experience in 1952 when they had brought substantial pieces such as Fidelio, Meistersinger and Rosenkavalier to the diminutive King's. Perhaps that is why the only truly large-scale item on the 1956 programme was Salome. Then again, in 1968 they would come back with the Dutchman and Elektra.

In addition to Salome, the 1956 visit included Die Zauberflöte, a double-bill of little-known Stravinsky pieces, Oedipus Rex and Mavra, with a real rarity in the delightful comedy The Barber of Baghdad by Peter Cornelius.

When the great Greek tragedies were first performed in the amphitheatre at Epidavros and elsewhere, the tradition grew to follow the gruelling depiction of tragedy with a broad comedy in the form of a farce or pantomime. To follow the Scottish premiere of Stravinsky's wonderful Oedipus Rex with the British premiere of his little frolic composed shortly before must have seemed the ideal pairing. But the performance was not received very favourably, and Mavra has not caught on in the way that Oedipus has in the years since. Is it time for this combination to be tried again?

Performance DatesMavra 1956

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King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

21 Aug, 19.00 28 Aug, 19.00 5 Sep, 19.00

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