Opera Scotland

Orfeo ed Euridice 1979Scottish Opera

Read more about the opera Orpheus and Euridice

Two of Gluck's great operatic roles took an important place in the later years of Dame Janet Baker's operatic career. Scottish Opera had announced her debut as Alceste at the 1974 Edinburgh Festival. However early rehearsals made her realise the part would strain the upper reaches of her voice, and she withdrew. She did at last sing the part at Covent Garden in 1981, during her final season of operatic performances, though Sir Charles Mackerras pragmatically introduced one or two adjustments to the vocal line.

Orfeo was a part she had sung at Morley College in 1958. She did not attempt the part again until the 1978 Proms, when she appeared in a memorable concert performance in which the Royal Albert Hall seemed as intimate as everyone's front room. Christopher Seaman conducted, with Jill Gomez and Elizabeth Gale as Euridice and Amor - a near-perfect cast. Dame Janet's farewell to the opera stage came with a wonderful production by Sir Peter Hall at the 1982 Glyndebourne Festival.

Her final new role with Scottish Opera came between those two events, and her own peerless performance, with an astonishingly boyish demeanour throughout, was given great support by the two young Scottish sopranos setting out on their own international careers. For the rest, the staging was rather a disappointment, as if under-rehearsed. Ingrid Rosell, a Swedish designer, had produced superb costumes for Covent Garden's 1973 Ring production, and she had a fair success in this very different work - though not everyone liked the Blessed Spirits elaborately costumed as dancing nuns (Peter Darrell's choreography).


Newcastle dates to be added.

Performance DatesOrfeo ed Euridice 1979

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

17 Oct, 19.15 20 Oct, 14.15 23 Oct, 19.15 25 Oct, 19.15 27 Oct, 19.15

Sadler's Wells Theatre | London

21 Nov, 19.30 23 Nov, 19.30

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