Opera Scotland

Alceste 1971Edinburgh University Opera Club

Read more about the opera Alceste

Edinburgh University Opera Club, founded in 1967, had an excellent record for performing rarities, and gave a number of important baroque works in those early years. In 1968 they introduced the first Scottish performance of Monteverdi's Orfeo, and in 1972 of Purcell's Fairy Queen.

In 1971 they showed even greater enterprise, mounting what seems to have been the British première of Lully's wonderful Alceste. Its plot is distinctly more complex than the later adaptations for Handel and Gluck (the familiar story starts at Act III of the Lully version), but has some extremely effective passages. The comic elements were completely purged from later versions, and it seems strange that the motivation for the rescue by Hercules is less altruistic than we are used to.

The standard of performance was remarkably enjoyable, even with the cast singing in French. No opera by this great composer has been seen in Scotland since, not even at the Edinburgh Festival.

Performance DatesAlceste 1971

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George Square Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

17 Feb, 19.30 18 Feb, 19.30 19 Feb, 19.30 20 Feb, 19.30

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