Opera Scotland

Valkyrie 1966Scottish Opera

Read more about the opera Walküre

1966 was only Scottish Opera’s fifth season of operations, and no opera by Wagner had yet been produced. To start its Wagner career with what was clearly hoped to be the first instalment of a Ring cycle was rightly interpreted as an indication of the company’s ambition. The singers were mainly based in Britain, but at this stage there was no usable English translation, and singing it in German meant that it was possible to import singers when that was required – not just Anita Välkki as Brünnhilde, but also Hubert Hofman as Wotan in Aberdeen. The most important Scottish element among the singers was, of course, David Ward, who had already worked at Bayreuth and had recently taken the part of Wotan into his repertoire, under Hans Hotter's guidance.

The general impression was perhaps of promise rather than achievement, and the designs, and particularly lighting, were much improved in the revival. Gibson's guidance of the Scottish National Orchestra also improved rapidly as he worked his way through the cycle. There was a widely-held view that while Walküre was promising and Rheingold in 1967 rather better, it was not until the Götterdämmerung of 1968 that everything fell into place.

Anita Välkki was a leading Wagnerian of the time, singing Brünnhilde at Bayreuth, Covent Garden and the Met. Anna Reynolds would soon sing Fricka and other parts at Bayreuth, where Donald McIntyre would soon be a fixture in a range of characters, including eventually (from 1976) Wotan. Ann Howard would become a leading member of the ENO Ring team under Reginald Goodall's guidance.

The three other operas in Scottish Opera's season for Spring 1966 were new productions of Falstaff and Albert Herring with a revival of Faust.

Performance Cast

Siegmund a Volsung

Charles Craig

Sieglinde a Volsung, sister of Siegmund

Elizabeth Fretwell

Hunding husband of Sieglinde

Donald McIntyre

Wotan father of the Valkyries and Volsungs

David Ward (Exc Jun 7, 10)

Hubert Hofman (Jun 7, 10)

Brünnhilde a Valkyrie

Anita Välkki

Fricka Wotan's estranged wife

Ann Howard

Gerhilde a Valkyrie

Josephine Allen

Ortlinde a Valkyrie

Catherine Wilson

Waltraute a Valkyrie

Ann Howard

Schwertleite a Valkyrie

Anna Reynolds

Helmwige a Valkyrie

Marie Hayward

Siegrune a Valkyrie

Laura Sarti

Grimgerde a Valkyrie

Johanna Peters

Rossweisse a Valkyrie

Patricia Brigenshaw

Performance DatesValkyrie 1966

Map List

King's Theatre, Glasgow | Glasgow

13 May, 18.00 17 May, 18.00 20 May, 18.00

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

27 May, 18.00 1 Jun, 18.00 4 Jun, 18.00

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

7 Jun, 18.00 10 Jun, 18.00

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