Opera Scotland

Toby Robertson Suggest updates

English theatre director.

Toby Robertson is best known for his years as Director of the Prospect Theatre Company - established as a touring company in 1964, it operated until 1979, by which time it was based at the Old Vic. The company appeared several times at the Edinburgh Festival. Robertson himself directed A Room with a View (1967), The Beggar's Opera (1968), Edward II (with Ian McKellen 1969), Much Ado About Nothing and Boswell's Life of Johnson (1970), King Lear (with Timothy West 1971), and later Hamlet (with Derek Jacobi) and Antony and Cleopatra (both 1977). The company also toured Scotland frequently outside Festival time, and mounted productions by other directors (such as Richard Cottrell's Richard II in 1969, also with Ian McKellen). Robertson later spent several seasons as director of Theatre Clwyd at Mold in North Wales.

His first opera production was with Scottish Opera in 1972. A Midsummer Night's Dream was an immediate success, and was revived frequently over the next decade, and taken on several foreign tours. For the 1975 Edinburgh Festival he directed the world premiere of Robin Orr's Hermiston, derived from Robert Louis Stevenson's last unfinished novel. This was generally accounted only a modest success, but any further assessment has been impossible in the absence of a revival. His third operatic staging, in 1977, was of The Marriage of Figaro, a generally successful version, which began on an extensive medium-scale tour, in English, but worked just as well when it emerged a few years later at the Glasgow Theatre Royal in Italian.

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