Opera Scotland

Tannhäuser 1961Sadler's Wells Opera

Read more about the opera Tannhäuser

This immediate revival of the previous year's Wagner offering was greeted with little enthusiasm by the Glasgow Herald - the critic found the conducting sluggish and soporific. Little found praise, but for some excellent singing from the named soloists. The Scotsman critic on 22 November was more complimentary. An indication of the collapse in popularity of this work until quite recently is the fact that it has not been professionally performed in Scotland since, and has never been heard at the Edinburgh Festival.


Sadler's Wells Opera in Scotland - 1961

There were two Scottish visits, with Aberdeen omitted altogether.  The Spring tour of three weeks began on 17 April and visited Glasgow (Empire), Edinburgh (King's) and Dundee (Gaument). This was the final visit to Dundee before the Gaumont's closure. In Autumn the company returned on 13 November to the Glasgow Empire followed by a week in Edinburgh.

The ten operas on the tour were:  Mozart (Marriage of Figaro);  Rossini (Barber of SevilleCinderella);  Wagner (Tannhäuser);  Verdi (Traviata);  Offenbach (Orpheus in the Underworld);  J Strauss (Fledermaus); Puccini (BohèmeTosca);  Lehár (Land of Smiles).

The Scottish tour schedule was:

Glasgow, w/c 17 April:  Mon 17 Traviata;  Tue 18 Barber of Seville;  Wed 19 Marriage of Figaro;  Thu 20 Fledermaus;  Fri 21 Tosca;  Sat 22 m Fledermaus;  Sat 22 e Barber of Seville.

Edinburgh, w/c 24 April:  Mon 24 Traviata;  tue 25 Barber of Seville;  Wed 26 Tosca;  Thu 27 Land of Smiles;  Fri 28 Marriage of Figaro;  Sat 29 m Land of Smiles;  Sat 29 e Barber of Seville.

Dundee, w/c  1 May:  Mon 1 Tosca;  Tue 2 Traviata;  Wed 3 Marriage of Figaro;  Thu 4 Barber of Seville;  Fri 5 Land of Smiles;  Sat 6 m Land of Smiles;  Sat 6 e Barber of Seville.

Edinburgh, w/c 6 November:  Mon 6 Orpheus in the Underworld;  Tue 7 Bohème;  Wed 8 Cinderella;  Thu 9 Traviata;  Fri 10 Tannhäuser;  Sat 11 m Orpheus in the Underworld;  Sat 11 e Bohème.

Glasgow, w/c 13 November:  Mon 13 Orpheus in the Underworld;  Tue 14 Tannhäuser;  Wed 15 Bohème;  Thu 16 Traviata;  Fri 17 Cinderella;  Sat 18 m Orpheus in the Underworld;  Sat 18 e Bohème.  


We have been unable to trace a programme to enable us to list the full cast, as at the time of writing the ENO archives are closed indefinitely.

Performance Cast


Rae Woodland

Tannhäuser a knight and minnesinger

Ronald Dowd

Shepherd boy

Diana Chadwick

Wolfram von Eschenbach a knight and minnesinger

John Hargreaves

Hermann Landgrave of Thuringia

Marian Nowakowski

Elisabeth niece of the Landgrave

Julia Malyon

Performance DatesTannhäuser 1961

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

10 Nov, 19.00

Empire Theatre, Glasgow | Glasgow

14 Nov, 19.00

© Copyright Opera Scotland 2020

Site by SiteBuddha