Opera Scotland

Tannhäuser 1960Sadler's Wells Opera

Read more about the opera Tannhäuser

For so many decades this was by far the most popular of Wagner's operas in Britain,  performed frequently by  Carl Rosa,  Moody-Manners,  O'Mara and other companies.  This new Sadler's Wells production by Anthony Besch,  with choreography by Peter Darrell,  was given three performances in Scotland in spring 1960 and a further pair in autumn 1961.  Since then, the work has completely disappeared, at least as far as professional performance is concerned.   Casting the title role is generally thought very difficult nowadays - Ronald Dowd must have been near perfect.

The other works given in March 1960 were  Fledermaus,  Don Giovanni,  Cenerentola and  Bohème.

The edition used was a hybrid of the two.  The original Dresden version was used for the Venusberg scene in the first act, so the use of ballet was reduced (Sadler's Wells not having at its disposal a full ballet company).  The revised Paris text was used for the rest of the performance.

Cast details are from programmes in Edinburgh City Library and the Mitchell Library, Glasgow.

Performance Cast


Joan Stuart (Mar 2, 15)

Tannhäuser a knight and minnesinger

Ronald Dowd (Mar 2, 15)

Shepherd boy

Iris Kells (Mar 2, 15)

Wolfram von Eschenbach a knight and minnesinger

John Lawrenson (Mar 2, 15)

Hermann Landgrave of Thuringia

Stanislav Pieczora (Mar 2, 15)

Walther von der Vogelweide a knight and minnesinger

Joseph Powell (Mar 2)

Alberto Remedios (Mar 15)

Heinrich der Schreiber a knight and minnesinger

Tom Swift (Mar 2, 15)

Biterolf a knight and minnesinger

Donald McIntyre (Mar 2, 15)

Reinmar von Zweter a knight and minnesinger

Leon Greene (Mar 2, 15)

Elisabeth niece of the Landgrave

Rosina Raisbeck (Mar 2, 15)

Performance DatesTannhäuser 1960

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

2 Mar, 19.00

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

11 Mar, 19.00

Empire Theatre, Glasgow | Glasgow

15 Mar, 19.00

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