Opera Scotland

Kathleen Ferrier

Kathleen Ferrier in Scotland

Posted 13 May 2012

Opera formed a small but important element in Kathleen Ferrier's career, most famously with performances of Gluck's Orpheus at Glyndebourne and Covent Garden,  We have been prompted by a visitor to our website who asked whether she had ever sung in Scotland.  Of course, she did so a good number of times, including every Edinburgh Festival from 1947 to 1952 - but did she perform in opera?

It is well known that Benjamin Britten composed The Rape of Lucretia especially for Ferrier, and it was in that role she appeared.  After the Glyndebourne premiere (July 12 1946), an extensive national tour began, which reached Edinburgh for the week commencing August 12 at the Royal Lyceum. The  company moved on to the Theatre Royal, Glasgow the following week. There were six evening performances and a Saturday matinee, requiring therefore a doubling of casts.  Nancy Evans sang Lucretia on 12 August. One review gave the cast for the Glasgow performance of Monday 19 August as Kathleen Ferrier in the title role, with Otakar Kraus (Tarquinius), Owen Brannigan (Collatinus) and Edmond Donlevy (Junius).  Peter Pears and Joan Cross were the Male and Female Choruses. Conducting duties for the tour were shared, Reginald Goodall being one and Hans Oppenheim the other.  The stage design was by John Piper and the producer was Eric Crozier.  Read more about the tour by clicking on the link here, then click on the link to the opera.


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