Opera Scotland

Cavalleria Rusticana 2012Scottish Opera

Read more about the opera Cavalleria Rusticana

Scottish Opera's 2011-12 season was its fiftieth, with celebrations in order, though the tone was muted. There was a sense of relief that the company had survived recent turmoils, and the level of activity was much reduced. The full-scale productions began in the autumn with a revival of Thomas Allen's Barber of Seville staging. In the New Year there were new productions of Hansel and Gretel and The Rake's Progress, along with a welcome revival of the vintage Tosca production. In the absence of any invitation to play the main festival in 2011, the first item in the season was a staging on the Edinburgh Fringe of Weill's Seven Deadly Sins. This was followed by a third co-operation with Music Theatre Wales at the Traverse - the highly dramatic Greek. The autumn repertoire also had a medium scale tour of Orpheus in the Underworld. In January the Russian co-productions with the Conservatoire continued, with Prokofiev's Betrothal in a Monastery. There was also the expected Highlands and Islands concert party under the Opera Highlights label. In June, the company's 50th anniversary was celebrated with a single concert performance, well-cast, of those old stalwarts from days of yore, Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci.

Italian opera after Verdi has, for Scottish Opera, meant Puccini, and yet more Puccini. Now there is nothing wrong with Puccini, but perhaps we should hear a few alternatives from time to time - the summer seasons in London's Holland Park have recently shown buried treasure lies there. Cav and Pag have been two of the most popular operas in the twentieth century, so it is mildly surprising that Scottish Opera, in its fifty year history, has not mounted a full-scale production. We have had one medium-scale tour, but here we could only welcome a concert performance.

Never mind, this event was designed as a party to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the company's debut - and typical of Scottish Opera's history of enterprise, the leads were sung by two Italian performers completely unknown in Britain - and the tenor doubling as Canio in Pagliacci, a feat rarely attempted (though Domingo did it to memorable effect at Covent Garden in 1976). Thomas Oliemans had a great success with Scottish Opera as Figaro (both Rossini and Mozart) and now, following up his recent Covent Garden debut as Schaunard, returned in two highly contrasted roles - also doubling Alfio with the highly dramatic Tonio in Pagliacci.

The whole event was a success, with idiomatic contributions from all concerned. The only problem was perhaps highlighted by the fact that the orchestra was only part-time and the chorus singers were freelancers - so the mere fact of the company's survival for fifty years became the focus of the celebration.

Performance Cast

Santuzza a village girl

Antonia Cifrone

Mamma Lucia the innkeeper, Turiddu’s mother

Leah-Marian Jones

Alfio the village carter

Thomas Oliemans

Turiddu a young soldier

Francesco Anile

Lola Alfio’s wife

Louise Collett

Performance DatesCavalleria Rusticana 2012

Map List

City Halls, Glasgow | Glasgow

5 Jun, 19.30

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