Opera Scotland

Turandot 1996Scottish Opera

Read more about the opera Turandot

Scottish Opera's season for 1995-96 contained some new productions that were highly memorable, though most were not seen again and none survived for long. After the Edinburgh Festival, where the new staging of The Jacobin opened, there was a very strongly cast small-scale, piano-accompanied tour of La bohème. The main subscription season contained The Jacobin and new stagings of Don Giovanni, La belle Hélène and Hansel and Gretel. A revival of La traviata was followed by new productions of Alceste and Turandot.

As well as the series of co-productions entered into with other companies, of which the famous series of five Janáček productions in the 1970s is the most famous, Scottish Opera has from time to time borrowed and lent existing productions. The staging borrowed most often from Wales is their Salome, and Scottish Opera's Trovatore has gone south on several occasions. So far, the Christopher Alden staging of Turandot has only come to Scotland once, though it is revived regularly in Wales. Of picturesque Chinoiserie there is no sign. The basic set is a black wall with a row of photographs of previous marriage candidates, all now dead. Costumes are, for the most part, white smocks. There was not really enough visual variety to sustain the entire evening.

Turandot is a work Armstrong has conducted regularly since the previous Welsh production of 1972, and he brings out all the drama. The Canadian soprano Kathleen Broderick, making her first appearance in Britain, was an excellent Turandot, unusually slim and mobile, but with a powerfully projected voice and no sense of strain. Francesca Pedaci was an extremely subtle and moving Liù. As expected, Stafford Dean still made a strong impression, as did the trio. The only real disappointment was the Calàf, Deng. He has a powerful and accurate voice, but of subtlety of vocal expression or physical acting there was little evidence.

Performance Cast


Andrew Hammond

Liù a slave girl

Francesca Pedaci

Calaf son of Timur - the 'Unknown Prince'

Mr Deng

Timur exiled King of Tartary

Stafford Dean

Prince of Persia

Alexander Anderson-Hall (mime)

Declan McCusker (voice)

Princess Turandot daughter of Altoum

Kathleen Broderick


Ailsa Mooney

Karen Murray

Ping Grand Chancellor

Stephen Gadd

Pang Grand Purveyor

Peter Hoare

Pong Grand Cook

David Newman

Emperor Altoum

Alexander Morrison

Performance DatesTurandot 1996

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

14 May, 19.15 18 May, 14.15 21 May, 19.15 23 May, 19.15 29 May, 19.15 1 Jun, 19.15

Theatre Royal, Newcastle | Newcastle-upon-Tyne

7 Jun, 19.15

Festival Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

15 Jun, 19.15 18 Jun, 19.15 22 Jun, 19.15

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