Opera Scotland

Seven Deadly Sins

Posted 17 Jul 2011

Set in the seedier side of Depression-era America, Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht's sassy 1930s satire is a remarkable fusion of opera, dance and theatre. The work can be performed by dance or opera companies and also works successfully as a concert piece.

The Scottish premiere took place in 1961 at the Edinburgh Festival. Western Theatre Ballet had only been founded in 1957 but already had a reputation for adventurous programming, even before they moved to Scotland and were rebranded as Scottish Ballet. Seven Deadly Sins was performed as part of a triple bill which also included Salade by Peter Darrell and Renard by Alfred Rodrigues. It was the production of Seven Deadly Sins, directed and choreographed by Dunfermline-born Kenneth MacMillan, that stayed in the repertoire, becoming a popular item at Covent Garden when MacMillan became Director of the Royal Ballet. Having Motherwell-born Alexander Gibson in the pit and Murray Dickie, long resident in Vienna, leading the quartet, meant that there was a fair Scottish contingent in the production. However the undoubted star of the show was Cleo Laine singing the role of Anna.

In 1982, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra gave a group of concert performances in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen. While the singers were excellent,  the most notable features were the conducting of the young Simon Rattle, and the unusual pairing. Making up the rest of the concert was a fascinatingly light and athletic performance of Beethoven's Eroica symphony. Read more about Seven Deadly Sins here.


© Copyright Opera Scotland 2024

Site by SiteBuddha