Opera Scotland

Freischütz 2004Edinburgh International Festival

Read more about the opera Freischütz

Edinburgh's major visiting company in 2004 was from Germany, but a Festival newcomer, the Hanover State Opera. In a mere four performances they presented the work of three of Europe's most controversial 'concept' direction teams. The single performance of Il trovatore, never presented at a previous Festival, was directed by the never-dull Catalan Calixto Bieito, whose production of Celestina for Birmingham Rep was also seen at the Festival. Peter Konwitschny's production was of Nono's massive Al gran sole carico d'amore, while Jossi Wieler and Sergio Morabito took a fresh look at Pelléas et Mélisande, given two performances to end the visit. The final opera was Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice, presented by Opera North in a co-production with Emio Greco I PC. There were four operas given in concert at the Usher Hall. A stimulating series gave a survey of the three major Weber operas - Der Freischütz, Euryanthe and Oberon. The first two had not been seen in Edinburgh in half a century. There was an excellent Bartók evening, including Duke Bluebeard's Castle. The final offering saw a vintage cast assembled for Strauss' Capriccio.

Through the nineteenth century this was an extremely popular work, but outside the German-speaking world, at least, it declined in popularity significantly in the twentieth. It was brought to the 1952 Festival by the Hamburg State Opera but had not had a professional performance in Scotland since then apart from a single evening by Sadler's Wells in 1965. This lovely concert was led by Sir Charles Mackerras.

Around this time, several Festival performances of opera in concert were distinguished by the glorious embryonic talent of Jonas Kaufmann, already an outstanding performer. He was ably supported by Hillevi Martinpelto, Ailish Tynan, John Relyea, and, in tiny but important parts at the end, Christopher Maltman and Matthew Rose. The orchestra stoked up the atmosphere brilliantly in the Wolf's Glen.

Performance DatesFreischütz 2004

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Usher Hall | Edinburgh

17 Aug, 19.30

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