Opera Scotland

From the House of the Dead 1964National Theatre, Prague

Read more about the opera From the House of the Dead

The Edinburgh Festival, at this time under the direction of Lord Harewood, was exploring the operatic possibilities behind the Iron Curtain. 1962 had seen the leading company from Yugoslavia in a repertoire largely of Russian masterpieces. In 1963 the Hungarian State Opera and Ballet appeared with a more limited choice of works. Here, the National Theatre from Prague brought an inspiring clutch of five Czech pieces. Two of them, Rusalka and Kátya Kabanová, were receiving Scottish premieres. The other three, Dalibor, From the House of the Dead and Resurrection, were being seen for the first time in the UK.

The final masterpiece of this great composer, undoubtedly one of the greatest jewels of twentieth century opera, had been broadcast by the BBC in 1960, but this was its British premiere in live performance. The edition used, standard at the time, has now been replaced as a result of Sir Charles Mackerras's research into the original manuscript material, and that new edition was premiered by Sadler's Wells in 1965. Even so, this may justifiably be considered as the event of the 1964 Festival. The work was not given again in Scotland until Scottish Opera added it to its cycle in 1987.

The quality and depth of the cast showed the company at its best.

Performance DatesFrom the House of the Dead 1964

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

28 Aug, 19.00 2 Sep, 19.00 5 Sep, 19.00

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