Opera Scotland

Wagner Evening 2005Royal Scottish National Orchestra

Read more about the opera Wagner Evening

Back in the sixties and seventies the Scottish National Orchestra, as it was then known, played every season for Scottish Opera, and, under the expert guidance of Alexander Gibson, developed a wonderful way with Wagner - or at least the Ring, Tristan and Meistersinger. Since then, with Scottish Opera using its own band for the Dutchman and Parsifal, as well as return visits to Tristan and the Ring, the RSNO had done little Wagner. However the first act of Walküre under Gibson with the majestic Jessye Norman and a concert (Glasgow only) Dutchman under Walter Weller were certainly highlights.

This well planned evening of excerpts was therefore very welcome. Glasgow audiences had the opportunity to remind themselves of the wonderful Walküre Brünnhilde Jane Eaglen had begun with Scottish Opera some fifteen years before. They had never had the chance to hear her in Götterdämmerung, and the solos for Sieglinde and Isolde were also novelties.

For Dundee audiences the situation was very different. The city had last seen a staged Wagner opera in 1928, and orchestral pieces since then had been restricted to the very occasional overture. Even vocal excerpts had been rare, provided by star singers between the wars - for instance Eva Turner and Alexander Kipnis.

However the huge Dundee hall had the perfect acoustic for this music, and the orchestra's management had probably hoped that by missing out the smaller venues in Aberdeen and Edinburgh some Wagnerites might have been encouraged to explore. Sadly, only a small number made the pilgrimage to Dundee and the experiment has not been repeated.

For those who did, the evening was memorable. Paul Daniel's operatic work in Britain was largely with Opera North and ENO, but both he and the soloist were familiar with the hall from previous concerts, and took full advantage of the opportunity it gave for expansively lyrical music-making.

The full programme was as follows:-

Overture Der fliegende Holländer.

Der Männer Sippe Die Walküre.

Du bist der Lenz Die Walküre.

Prelude and Liebestod Tristan und Isolde.

Good Friday Music Parsifal.

Siegfried’s Rhine Journey Götterdämmerung.

Siegfried’s Funeral March Götterdämmerung.

Brünnhilde’s Immolation Götterdämmerung.

Performance Cast

Soprano

Jane Eaglen

Performance DatesWagner Evening 2005

Map List

Caird Hall | Dundee

23 Nov, 19.30

Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow | Glasgow

26 Nov, 19.30

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