Opera Scotland

Atlántida 1989Edinburgh International Festival

Read more about the opera Atlántida

The 1989 Edinburgh Festival had a strong element of Spanish culture, including three 'golden age' plays by Calderón. The musical element only contained one fully staged opera, that being a rare, perhaps even first, appearance in Britain of a Spanish operetta, or zarzuela - Moreno Torroba's Chulapona.

The opening concert, with the National Orchestra of Spain and the massed forces of the Edinburgh Festival Chorus, was a double bill of works by Falla. His early opera La vida breve was preceded by a great rarity in the Scenic Cantata L'Atlántida, or rather 'Fragments' from same. Both had received their British premieres at earlier Festivals. In 1962, the cantata had just received its first performances in a version completed by Ernesto Halffter. On this occasion a brave decision was taken to let us hear Falla's own thoughts, incomplete, of course, and it must be said thoroughly confusing. This was not helped by a programme note that lacked clarity about what was being performed, but it was still fascinating.

The performance was beautifully conducted, bringing out all the drama, and the Chorus, whose exposure to any text in Catalan must previously have been limited, sang gloriously.

Performance Cast

Corifeo Narrator

Enrique Baquerizo

Child Columbus as a boy

Andrew Murphy

Pyrene Queen of the Pyrenees

Alicia Nafè

Isabella Queen of Castile

Maria Oran

Tenor solo

Kenneth Ballantine

Contralto solo

Morag Watson

Performance DatesAtlántida 1989

Map List

Usher Hall | Edinburgh

13 Aug, 20.00

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