Opera Scotland

Mavra in Scotland

Posted 3 Jan 2022

Mavra received its first performance in the UK at the King's Theatre, Edinburgh, on 21 August 1956.  The Hamburg State Opera were making their second visit to the Festival.  The evening consisted of a Stravinskian double-bill, with the farcical Mavra as light relief after the distinctly tragic Oedipus Rex - perhaps as the classical Greeks might have performed their dramas.

The company's principal conductor, Leopold Ludwig, was on the podium, in a staging directed by Günther Rennert.  Hungarian soprano Melitta Muszely sang Parasha, with Gisela Litz as her Mother and Margarete Ast as the Neighbour.  The Hussar was Jürgen Förster.

Both the more recent productions have been by students based in Glasgow.  In 2002 the RSAMD mounted a triple-bill in which two comedies, Mavra and Puccini's Gianni Schicchi, framed the evening, with Riders to the Sea, by Ralph Vaughan Williams, as a serious and moving centrepiece.  The programme was performed in Glasgow at the Theatre Royal, before moving to the Edinburgh Festival Theatre.

The excellent cast included Katherine Wiles (Parasha), Lucy Taylor (Mother), Annique Burms (Neighbour) and Jason Bridges (Hussar).  The conductor was Timothy Dean and William Relton directed.

In 2016 the RCS staged the work in their Alexander Gibson Studio in a double-bill with another comedy derived from a Russian source - The Bear by William Walton.  Derek Clark conducted a staging by Tom Creed.

Victoria Stevens sang Parasha, with Svetlina Stoyanova (Mother), Lynn Bellamy (Neighbour) and Kenneth Reid (Hussar).

 

The Miserly Knight, by Rachmaninov, has not previously been performed in Scotland.

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