Opera Scotland

Stuttgart State Opera

Wurttembergisch Staatsoper, Stuttgart

The opera company at Stuttgart has always been one of the most important in Germany. Its two early visits to the Edinburgh Festival brought a collection of four operas each time. Subsequently they paid a short visit to the newly restored Theatre Royal in Glasgow, the first of a projected series of visits by continental companies that never materialised.

Four of these nine operas were receiving Scottish premieres, though it has to be said that Lulu is the only one that was considered to of any great importance at the time. Weber's Euryanthe contains superb music and has moments of high drama, but Wagner in general later treated the same themes more effectively in Lohengrin. Lortzing has never really caught on ouside the German-speaking world, and the scarcity of performances of Der Wildschütz is very much our loss. The Henze piece, in a staging directed by the composer, proved highly enjoyable, though it took well over thirty years before it would re-appear in productions at Covent Garden and Welsh National.

Carlos Kleiber's only appearance in Scotland was for this single performance of Wozzeck. The wonderful tenor Fritz Wunderlich appeared in two operas (Mozart and Lortzing) on the first visit and later as Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, a few days before his tragically early death.

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