Opera Scotland

Missa Solemnis 1976Haddo House Choral & Operatic Society

Read more about the opera Missa Solemnis

This event must be looked on as quite a triumph for the Haddo House set up. As if performing Beethoven's fiendishly difficult late choral masterpiece wasn't enough of a challenge, the performers, amateur and professional, had to cope with the nightmarish situation of illness among the soloists.

The planned soprano was the sweet-toned Welsh soprano Janet Price, a leading artist with Welsh National Opera and Opera Rara, but little known in Scotland. When it became clear on the morning of this performance - a matinee remember - that she would be unable to sing, the hunt was on for a substitute. Fortunately, Scottish Opera were in the middle of a run of Don Giovanni, and the Donna Anna, Rachel Mathes, an American soprano working in Germany, knew the part, and was in Glasgow. She and a driver set off immediately, but it was clear the 3pm start time was impossible. The audience was dispatched to survey the grounds (nicely maintained by the National Trust for Scotland) until she arrived. She went on an hour and a half late without a rehearsal and enjoyed something of a triumph.

The three other soloists were excellent, even if the tenor went on to the greatest career of the three. Helen Attfield was a veteran of the ENO Riing, while Ian Comboy was also working with Scottish Opera. June Gordon did seem to have a knack for assembling good casts for her amazingly ambitious projects at Haddo.

Performance DatesMissa Solemnis 1976

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Haddo House Hall | Ellon, Aberdeenshire

9 May, 15.00

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