Opera Scotland

Aïda 2003Scottish Opera

Read more about the opera Aïda

The 2003-04 season of Scottish Opera was dominated by its opening event. Tim Albery's production of Der Ring des Nibelungen had been assembled during the three previous Edinburgh Festivals. The 2003 Festival was the culmination of this process, with complete cycles performed. After this intensive sequence of two Edinburgh cycles, the company moved on to give two in Glasgow and a final one at the recently opened Lowry at Salford Quays.

For non-Wagnerites, the rest of the season consisted of new productions of The Magic Flute and La bohème with a revival of Aïda. There was also an intimate staging of Eugene Onegin - with piano in the autumn and a small band in the spring. The Essential Scottish Opera team made its annual tour of the Highlands and Islands. A distinct novelty was a new piece composed specifically for children - on a larger scale than the company's previous works of this kind, The Minotaur by Julian Evans toured with a small orchestra.

The turn of the year was straddled by a dozen performances of Antony McDonald's 1999 production, which had not significantly improved with the passage of time. What was undoubtedly much better was the cast, at least where the two leads were concerned. John Hudson and Inessa Galante both sang with a natural sense of Verdian style and line, and also managed to sing softly as required so often - a feat quite beyond their predecessors. Richard Armstrong always has a feel for how Verdi should go, and the other roles showed favourite singers trying something new. Anne-Marie Owens was just as good an Amneris as Rosalind Plowright had been, and the company's recent Gurnemanz and Ochs made an excellent Ramfis. Two Wotans appeared as the Kings. The familiar figure of Matthew Best seemed to be luxury casting in a relatively small role, and the majestically imposing figure of Clayton Brainerd was an impressive Amonasro.

Performance Cast

Ramfis High Priest

Manfred Hemm

Radamès Captain of the Guard

John Hudson

Amneris daughter of the King of Egypt

Anne-Marie Owens

Aïda an Ethiopian slave

Inessa Galante

King of Egypt

Matthew Best


Declan McCusker


Karen Murray

Amonasro King of Ethiopia and father of Aïda

Clayton Brainerd

Performance DatesAïda 2003

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

3 Dec, 19.15 6 Dec, 19.15 17 Dec, 19.15 20 Dec, 19.15

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