Opera Scotland

Tosca 1997Scottish Opera

Read more about the opera Tosca

The 1997-98 season for Scottish Opera started with the brillant idea of another look at the original 1912 concept of Ariadne auf Naxos. That version started with the performance of an abbreviated text of Molière's comedy Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme. This was seen at an early Edinburgh Festival in 1950, conducted by Sir Thomas Beecham, but had not been seen in Scotland since. The new production, which played at the 1997 Edinburgh Festival, was a co-production with Nottingham Playhouse. The conventional revision, with prologue, followed as part of the main season.

That season started with a long Opera-Go-Round tour of The Barber of Seville. This was followed by eight main stage productions: Norma, Rigoletto, Peter Grimes, Tosca, Così fan tutte, Ariadne auf Naxos, The Queen of Spades and La traviata. In addition there were concert performances of Handel's Samson and three performances of a double bill of Param Vir's Snatched by the Gods and Broken Strings.

Some productions that stay around for several revivals seem to be lucky in seldom receiving bad performances. Anthony Besch's Tosca is one such. Perhaps willingness to return to direct it had something to do with it, but even after his death the consistency of quality continued. By contrast, the equally good production of Bohème by Elijah Moshinsky nearly always suffered from one weak element at each revival.

This series, with six performances in December and a further four in January, benefited not only from the return of Besch and the presence of a natural Puccini conductor in the pit. Ian Storey, Matthew Best and Elizabeth Byrne all extended the list of Italian roles performed, with little sign that they were about to concentrate with such effectiveness on major Wagner parts.

Performance Cast

Cesare Angelotti former Consul, now a political prisoner

Christopher Purves


Andrew Slater

Mario Cavaradossi a painter

Ian Storey

Floria Tosca a famous singer

Elizabeth Byrne

Baron Scarpia Chief of Police

Matthew Best

Spoletta police agent

Declan McCusker

Sciarrone police officer

David Morrison

Shepherd boy

Sandra Haxton (Exc Dec 30)

Frances Morrison (Dec 30)


Jonathan Hawkins

Performance DatesTosca 1997

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

12 Dec, 19.15 16 Dec, 19.15 18 Dec, 19.15 20 Dec, 19.15 23 Dec, 19.15 27 Dec, 14.15

Festival Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

30 Dec, 19.15

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