Opera Scotland

Soldier's Tale 1967Scottish Opera

Read more about the opera Soldier's Tale

For the 1967 Edinburgh Festival, the chosen musical theme was Igor Stravinsky. A wide-ranging programme of events was produced, with the composer in attentance. Participants included the Cleveland Orchestra under their conductor, the legendary George Szell, who had been chief conductor of the Scottish Orchestra back in the thirties. The operatic programme featured the Festival debut of Scottish Opera with The Rake's Progress, and they also put on The Soldier's Tale.

Peter Diamand also continued the link with his previous employers, the Holland Festival, for a third year, by mounting co-productions of two rarities by Bellini (Capuleti) and Haydn (Anima del filosofo, under the title Orfeo ed Euridice).

 This highly-regarded production of The Soldier's Tale appeared something of an afterthought, given six performances at the end of the Festival, in the atmospheric surroundings of the Assembly Hall, at eleven in the morning.

This temporary stage was once erected every year in the Church of Scotland's Assembly Hall on the Mound, having been introduced at the first Festival in 1947. Then it had formed the venue for the first modern revival of The Thrie Estaites, snd subsequently used for classic theatre productions.

In 1967 this included Frank Dunlop's Pop Theatre company, in a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, also designed by Carl Toms. The cast included Jim Dale as Bottom, Bernard Bresslaw as Quince, and Cleo Laine as Hippolyta anf Tytania. Her husband John Dankworth provided the atmospheric music.

By contrast, Wendy Toye's staging of Soldier's Tale was a very simple, but effective one, while the cast of actors included two established stars, in Gordon Jackson and Patrick Wymark. There were also a couple of young performers whose obvious promise would soon be fulfilled either on TV or at the National Theatre.

The 1967 season: a summary

The spring 1967 season of Scottish Opera opened with the excellent new production of Così fan tutte, which was joined by the company's first stagings of Das Rheingold and La bohème. There were also revivals of Otello and Albert Herring.

The 1967 season of mainstage performances involved Perth, Glasgow, Aberdeen, and Edinburgh. For the first time the company was invited to appear at the Edinburgh Festival, with a major contribution to the Stravinsky theme.

The productions were Cosi fan tutte (9 performances), Albert Herring (4), Das Rheingold (5), La bohème(7), Otello (5), Rake’s Progress (4) and Soldier’s Tale (6).

Perth Theatre; Wed 12, 15 Apr Cosi fan tutte; Fri 14 Apr Albert Herring

Glasgow King’s Theatre; Saturday 6 May Rheingold; Wed 10 May Cosi fan tutte; Thu 11 May La bohème;Friday 12 May Rheingold; Sat 13 May La bohème; Tue 16 Cosi fan tutte; Wed 17 Otello; Thu 18 m Cosi fan tutte Thu 18 La bohème; Fri 19 Albert Herring Sat 20t Otello

His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen; Tue 23 May Rheingold; Wed Albert Herring; Thu Cosi fan tutte; Fri Otello; Sat La bohème

King’s Theatre, Edinburgh; Tue 30 May Otello, Wed 31 May Cosi fan tutte; Thursday 1 June La bohème; Fri 2 June Das Rheingold; Saturday 3 June Otello. Tue 6 June Albert Herring; Wed 7 June Das Rheingold; Thu 8 June m Cosi fan tutte;Thu 8 June La bohème; Friday 9 June Cosi fan tutte; Saturday 10 June La bohème

22, 26, 31 Aug; 8 Sep Rake’s Progress at King’s Theatre, Edinburgh.

4 4,5,6,7,8, 9 Sep Soldier’s Tale Assembly Hall, Edinburgh

As Scottish Opera gathered strength, by its fifth year the season had therefore grown to an impressive forty performances within Scotland; three Perth; five Aberdeen; eleven Edinburgh (plus ten at the Edinburgh Festival); and eleven Glasgow.

Performance DatesSoldier's Tale 1967

Map List

Assembly Hall | Edinburgh

4 Sep, 11.00 5 Sep, 11.00 6 Sep, 11.00 7 Sep, 11.00 8 Sep, 11.00 9 Sep, 11.00

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