Opera Scotland

RCS Double Bill

Posted 20 Mar 2023

The spring opera production at the Conservatoire in Glasgow is a fascinating double bill of Scottish premieres. It opened on Monday 20 March, with two more performances on Wednesday and Friday at 7.15.

César Cui is the least known of Russia's 'Mighty Handful' of composers. A Feast in Time of Plague (set in London 1665) sets the text of one of Pushkin's short tragedies.  Cui's music, at least the orchestration, sounds more reminiscent of his younger colleague Tchaikovsky (though he was dead by the time Feast was launched).  It contains a lot of interest in barely forty minutes.

The second opera is called Four Sisters, with music by Elena Langer (2012). The text, by John Lloyd Davies, is inspired by one of Chekhov's greatest plays, relocating it to modern-day New York City, with an entertainingly eclectic mix of musical styles.  Not at all like Chekhov's Three Sisters.

The evening opens with Prokofiev's Overture on Hebrew Themes, which introduces the Klezmer style of music, heard a good deal during the Langer work.


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