Opera Scotland

Recital 1990Edinburgh International Festival

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The great Spanish soprano's belated arrival in Edinburgh for the Festival's Spanish theme was a welcome surprise in 1989. The announcement that she had agreed to an immediate return was extremely welcome. The whole evening, as before, had a relaxed atmosphere of sheer enjoyment projected from the stage and reflected back by the audience.

What a pity that these were her only Festival appearances, and she never sang in full scale opera or concerts in Scotland.

This programme opened with a group of what have become known as 'Arie Antiche' - high quality solos from the baroque era, some rescued from operas that had themselves vanished into oblivion. Recently some of them have been dug up from libraries and found to be of remarkable quality. 'Caro mio ben' is in a class of its own, as regards familiarity, but they all hold their own.

The second group, representing the bel canto era, ifollowed the previous year's programme by including an extract from Rossini's first great international success, Tancredi. Betly is a more lightweight piece from Donizetti, though great fun. The greatest interest came from the first and last in this group. Pucitta's operas were very popular in London until swept aside by his successors. That seems a pity, and it would be good to hear more. So also with Pacini, who enjoyed a long career, developing his style as he went.

The second half began with a group of Debussy songs, familiar apart from his Prodigal Son cantata, which is really quite a good piece.

The greatest Spanish singers before her, including Supervia, De los Angeles and Berganza, used to end their recitals with a wonderfully communicative group of Spanish songs. Caballé was clearly happy to follow their example. And why not? After the wonders of Montsalvatge, Caballé tempted us with a group of zarzuela numbers, still horribly neglected in this country. As last year, her final encore was Adriana's 'Io son l'umile ancella' - heartfelt and beautiful, and the audience lapped it up.

Caballé's programme was as follows:

                 Stradella: Pietà, Signore (arr Rossi).

                 Gasparini: Lasciar d’amarti.

                 Giordani: Caro mio ben.

                 Galuppi: E ingrato, lo veggio Adriano in Siria.

                 Pucitta: Calma, o caro La vestale.

                 Donizetti: In questo semplice Betly.

                 Rossini: Gran Dio! deh tu proteggi Tancredi.

                 Pacini: Tacete, ahimè, quei antici! Il Temistocle.

                 Debussy: Beau soir.


                               Recitatif et Air de Lia L’Enfant prodigue.

                  Montsalvatge: Punto de Habañera.

                                Canción de Cuna,


                  Serrano: Marinela La Canción del Olvido.

                  Chapi: Te quiero La Patria chica.

                  Carceleras Las hijas del Zebedeo.

                  Encores included a further selection of Zarzuela extracts, and

                  Cilea: Io son l’umile ancella Adriana Lecouvreur.

Performance Cast


Montserrat Caballé

Production Cast


Miguel Zanetti

Performance DatesRecital 1990

Map List

Usher Hall | Edinburgh

19 Aug, 20.00

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