Opera Scotland

Life with an Idiot Zhizn' s idiotom

Tours by decade

1990s - 1 tour

1995 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra

Tours by location


Alfred Schnittke (born Engels, 24 November 1934; died Hamburg, 3 August 1998)


Victor Erofeyev


Short story (1980) by Victor Erofeyev



First Performance: Amsterdam (Muziektheater), 13 April 1992.

First Performance in UK: London (Coliseum), 1 April 1995.

First Performance in Scotland: Glasgow (Theatre Royal), 11 May 1995.

Scottish Opera première: As above.



Alfred Schnittke, having spent most of his life in relative obscurity in the Soviet Union, went through a period during his last years when he was suddenly fashionable and a prominent composer on an international scale. He received commissions for a number of new works at this time, including this opera. Since his death, as happens with most composers, his work has slipped from the repertoire. Whether his reputation will recover, and if so when, remains to be seen. Many operas achieve the honour of a first production. Life with an Idiot at least did better than that, but it has not been repeated either by ENO or Scottish Opera, nor was their co-production taken up by any other British company. He does at least join the short list of non-British composers to have had a work performed by Scottish Opera while they were still alive: Dallapiccola, Henze, Bernstein, and now Schnittke.



I (baritone)

Wife (soprano)

Vova (tenor)

Warder (bass)

Young Man (bass)

Marcel Proust (baritone)

The Cast

Marcel Proust
Young Man

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