Opera Scotland

Christ on the Mount of Olives 1972Ledlanet Nights

Read more about the opera Christus am Olberge

This was a thoroughly enjoyable performance in very intimate surroundings of an extreme rarity, an oratorio by Beethoven. Hardly performed in Britain, this may even have been the Scottish premiere. It is a short work, and formed the second part of a programme in which Leonard Friedman, the orchestra's leader (for this band was the fore-runner of the Scottish Baroque Ensemble) gave a sometimes distressingly wayward account of the Beethoven Violin Concerto.

Julian Dawson, primarily a pianist, had a couple of seasons as the Assistant Conductor at the SNO, and made a thoroughly good job of this impressive rarity. All the soloists were excellent. Dennis O'Neill was at this time a beautifully elegant light lyric tenor, and even with hindsight it is hard to imagine this stylish young singer going on to make a splendid Manrico and Otello at major opera houses. If his voice was stretched to its current limits, the same could be said of soprano Patricia Hay as an excellent Angel. In a couple of years time she would sing Marzelline in Fidelio for Scottish Opera, and produce a lively and beautifully sung characterization. This Beethoven part was distinctly heavier, perhaps closer to Leonore.

Performance DatesChrist on the Mount of Olives 1972

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Ledlanet | Kinross-shire

16 Dec, 19.30

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