Opera Scotland

John Calder

Opera fan and influential force in the arts: John Calder

Posted 9 Sep 2018

John Calder died on 13 August 2018 at the age of 91.

Most of the obituarists refer to his remarkable career as a publisher, to campaigns for freedom of expression, and to his support for writers and the book trade.

However to the team behind OperaScotland, he will be remembered as one of a handful of people who most inspired our interest in opera.

Calder's Festival at Ledlanet in Kinross-shire, which lasted for over ten years, demands to be remembered for the variety of productions performed over the years, plays and concerts of all kinds, as well as opera. Notably he promoted the operas of Handel long before they became part of the mainstream repertoire.

Amongst the operas performed at Ledlanet Nights were Handel's Agrippina, Partenope and Alcina, Britten's Turn of the Screw, Mozart's Il re pastore, Idomeneo and La clemenza di Tito. Also included were Gluck's Alceste and Una cosa rara by Mozart's contemporary Vicente Martin y Soler.

Opera for All appeared too with their touring productions, and many singers remember Ledlanet with affection.

Check out our interview with John Calder here.




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