Opera Scotland

Iolanthe 1988Scottish Opera

Read more about the opera Iolanthe

The programme for the 1988-89 season of Scottish Opera opened with the company's first production of a work by Tippett, Midsummer Marriage. The other new productions were Fledermaus, Rheingold, Don Giovanni, Oedipus Rex, Traviata and Street Scene. The revivals were Magic Flute, Iolanthe, and Bohème, In the autumn the previous season's Richard Jones Così fan tutte, redirected by Tim Hopkins, went out on the medium-scale tour. There was also a small-scale, piano-accompanied tour of Don Carlos, so far Scottish Opera's only attempt at this work.

A quick revival of Keith Warner's excellent 1986 staging made ideal entertainment in the run-up to Christmas and New Year. Several of the previous cast returned, and Anne Collins, a fixture in the long-running ENO staging, visited Scottish Opera for the first time as a perfect Fairy Queen. Grant Llewellyn also made a promising company debut with a fizzing performance in the pit.

From the marketing point of view, the most interesting feature of this cast was the guest appearance of Rikki Fulton as the Lord Chancellor. He had long been a popular stand-up comic in Scotland, in partnership with Jack Milroy as Francie and Josie. He had, from time to time, acted in stage productions, perhaps most notably in The Thrie Estaites at the Edinburgh Festival, and in several Scots adaptations of Molière. He was also an accomplished serious actor, as in the film of Gorky Park. Operetta was a new departure for him, and while his appearance was generally successful, he did sometimes lose contact with the conductor. But the main quibble would have to be over his need for amplification, which created occasional problems of balance during ensemble work with unmiked colleagues. That is the kind of problem that may well have settled down after a few performances, but should really be managed in rehearsal.

Performance Cast

Celia a Fairy

Elaine MacKillop

Leila a Fairy

Carol Rowlands

Fleta a Fairy

Jane Marie O'Brien

Queen of the Fairies

Anne Collins (Exc Dec 29, 30)

Claire Livingstone (Dec 29, 30)

Iolanthe a Fairy, Strephon's Mother

Elizabeth McCormack

Strephon an Arcadian Shepherd

Omar Ebrahim (Exc Dec 29, 30)

Tom McVeigh (Dec 29, 30)

Phyllis an Arcadian Shepherdess and Ward in Chancery

Patricia O'Neill

Earl of Mountararat

Alan Oke

Earl Tolloller

Hugh Hetherington

Lord Chancellor

Rikki Fulton

Private Willis B Company, 1st Grenadier Guards

Jonathan Best (Exc Dec 20, 22)

David Marsh (Dec 20, 22)

Performance DatesIolanthe 1988

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

16 Dec, 19.15 17 Dec, 19.15 19 Dec, 19.15 20 Dec, 19.15 21 Dec, 19.15 22 Dec, 19.15 23 Dec, 19.15 27 Dec, 14.15 28 Dec, 14.15 28 Dec, 19.15 29 Dec, 19.15 30 Dec, 19.15

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