Opera Scotland

Duke Bluebeard's Castle 2004Scottish Opera

Read more about the opera Duke Bluebeard's Castle

Scottish Opera's 2004-05 season consisted of six events, five being full-scale stagings. The proceedings opened with a double-bill of early twentieth century classics, Duke Bluebeard's Castle and Erwartung. The autumn programme also contained a revival of Tosca, the vintage 1980 staging by the late Anthony Besch. The new year began with a rare sighting in Scotland of an opera by Tippett, The Knot Garden. Handel's wonderful setting of Restoration comedy, Semele, followed, and the fifth full-scale production was a revival of Fidelio. The early part of 2005 also featured a concert version of Andrea Chénier, as well as the usual Highlands and Islands tour of Essential Scottish Opera.

Finding an apt partner to accompany Bluebeard has been a problem. The Hungarians, on their Festival visits have coupled it with other stage works by Bartók, his ballets. For opera companies in the west, Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex has worked quite well, a solution attempted both by Sadler's Wells and Scottish Opera. When the Canadian Opera Company came to Edinburgh, they introduced a novel pairing with Schoenberg's monodrama Erwartung, a successful example which Scottish Opera followed here.

The result for both works was entirely successful. Richard Armstrong's orchestra played heroically throughout the marvellous score. The recorded voice of Bill Paterson set the scene with a stirring delivery of the prologue, in English. The two Hungarians gave detailed dramatic performances as the various doors were opened. And the final coup revealed the three previous wives, still attired in white wedding finery, sitting at a genteel tea table - and Judith is offered, and accepts, a cup as she joins them.

Performance DatesDuke Bluebeard's Castle 2004

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

8 Oct, 19.15 12 Oct, 19.15 14 Oct, 19.15 16 Oct, 19.15

Festival Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

21 Oct, 19.15 23 Oct, 19.15

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