Opera Scotland

Orfeo 1978Zurich Opera

Read more about the opera Orfeo

1978 marked Peter Diamand's final Festival, and many of his old colleagues returned for the occasion. The opera programme seems astonishingly generous by more recent standards. The previous season's 'house' staging of Carmen was repeated. Scottish Opera revived its superb Pelléas et Mélisande, while the Frankfurt Opera brought a good cast in a staging of Kátya Kabanová. There was also a first visit by the Zurich Opera, bringing their cycle of the three full-length Monteverdi operas, L'Orfeo, L'incoronazione di Poppea and Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria.

The trilogy of Monteverdi works produced in Zurich toured the major European music festivals one after the other, which had the great benefit of allowing the various administrators to concentrate on other things. While the King's Theatre was an appropriate size for these works, it must be said that the sightlines were sometimes problematic. However the main problem arose from the generally jokey and irritating style adopted by Ponnelle throughout. Orfeo perhaps suffered least in this respect. It was played on a unit set with a balcony surrounding the back of the stage, on which elaborately costumed chorus members paraded - for this was played as a court masque, with the court in attendance. It worked better than the other two music dramas, and probably suffered more from comparison with the magically simple Kent Opera version which had come to Stirling the year before.

Performance DatesOrfeo 1978

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

29 Aug, 19.30 31 Aug, 19.30

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