A new staging more than a decade on from the last appearance of the much revived Anthony Besch one should have been a welcome project. Sadly, this version had little to commend it, visually or musically, apart from the new translation by John Wells, and disappeared after one run. The director, Di Trevis, was a familiar name to patrons of the Citizens’ Theatre, and a regular at the RSC and National, but she was an operatic novice, and a classic operetta seems a daring way to start. The production had no sense of style, and Bunny Christie’s designs were eminently forgettable. Trevis went on to have a far greater success at Covent Garden where she directed a wonderfully imaginative premiere staging of Harrison Birtwistle’s Gawain.
One of the few positive elements was the unusually serious interpretation of Danilo – another indication of Simon Keenlyside’s emerging talent. The Irish soprano Suzanne Murphy was a strange choice for Hanna - she had a long career specialising in works by Mozart, Donizetti, Bellini and Verdi, especially with Welsh National Opera, and was seen to far greater effect when that company brought its Peter Stein production of Falstaff to Edinburgh in 1993.
Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow
19 Sep, 19.15 21 Sep, 19.15 30 Sep, 19.15 6 Oct, 19.15 25 Oct, 19.15 6 Dec, 19.15 9 Dec, 14.15
Playhouse Theatre | Edinburgh
31 Oct, 19.15 4 Nov, 19.15
Theatre Royal, Newcastle | Newcastle-upon-Tyne
7 Nov, 19.15 11 Nov, 19.15
His Majesty's Theatre | Aberdeen
14 Nov, 19.15 18 Nov, 19.15
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