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.

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 16 May, 11.00

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