Opera Scotland

Rake's Progress 1967Scottish Opera

Read more about the opera Rake's Progress

For the 1967 Edinburgh Festival, the chosen musical theme was Igor Stravinsky. A wide-ranging programme of events was produced, with the composer in attendance. 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). The Bellini cast included debuts by  Anna Moffo, Giacomo Aragall and Luciano Pavarotti with Claudio Abbado, while the Haydn had rare appearances by Joan Sutherland and Nicolai Gedda.


This was the first production of Stravinsky's satirical comedy by Scottish Opera. It was altogether seen as a great success. Peter van der Bilt and Elizabeth Robson were company regulars, while Alexander Young would now become one. The Czech mezzo Sona Cervena had been to the Festival with her home company, and would now visit Scotland frequently.

When the time came for the planned revival in 1971, it was discovered that the sets had fallen to bits, so young staff director David Pountney was invited to mount a new production, which of course had to be both quick and cheap.


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).


The complete schedule for the season was:

Perth Theatre; Wed 12 Apr Cosi fan tutte; Fri 14 Albert Herring. Sat 15 Così fan tutte.

Glasgow, King’s Theatre; Sat 6 May Rheingold; Wed 10 Così fan tutte; Thu 11 La bohème;Friday 12 Rheingold; Sat 13 La bohème; Tue 16 Così fan tutte; Wed 17 Otello; Thu 18 m Cosi fan tutte Thu 18 e La bohème; Fri 19 Albert Herring Sat 20 Otello.

Aberdeen, His Majesty’s Theatre; Tue 23 May Rheingold; Wed 24 Albert Herring; Thu 25 Così fan tutte; Fri 26 Otello; Sat 27 La bohème.

Edinburgh, King’s Theatre; Tue 30 May Otello, Wed 31 Così fan tutte; Thu 1 Jun La bohème; Fri 2 Das Rheingold; Sat 3 Otello. Tue 6 Albert Herring; Wed 7 Das Rheingold; Thu 8 m Così fan tutte; Thu 8 e La bohème; Fri 9 Così fan tutte; Sat 10 La bohème.

Edinburgh Festival - King's Theatre: 22, 26, 31 Aug; 8 Sep Rake’s Progress.

Edinburgh Festival - Assembly Hall: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 Sep Soldier’s Tale.

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.

1967 was the year in which the Festival experimented with its own programme. The normal programme, with casts, remained in the generic King's Theatre presentation. The synopsis was issued in a new long and slim format. From 1968 that new style included all the programme information.


Performance Cast

Trulove a country squire

David Kelly

Anne Trulove Trulove's daughter

Elizabeth Robson

Tom Rakewell a young gentleman engaged to Anne

Alexander Young

Nick Shadow

Peter van der Bilt

Mother Goose keeper of the brothel

Johanna Peters

Baba the Turk a bearded lady and circus attraction

Sona Cervena

Sellem an auctioneer

Francis Egerton

Keeper of the Madhouse

Ronald Morrison

Performance DatesRake's Progress 1967

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

22 Aug, 19.00 26 Aug, 19.00 31 Aug, 19.00 8 Sep, 19.00

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