Opera Scotland

Ariadne on Naxos 1975Scottish Opera

Read more about the opera Ariadne auf Naxos

The subscription season 1975-76 contained ten operas in total, played in sequence. The gala Fledermaus was followed by short runs of Otello, Hermiston, Ariadne on Naxos, Così fan tutte, The Golden Cockerel, Die Fledermaus, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Don Giovanni, Madama Butterfly and Falstaff. The Otello had been seen regularly since 1963, the Falstaff only once before, in 1966. Fledermaus had been launched during the summer while Hermiston had been premiered at the recent Edinburgh Festival - both were previously unseen in Glasgow. The only productions that were brand new were Ariadne and Rimsky-Korsakov's Golden Cockerel, unseen in Scotland for half a century, and only occasionally since then at Covent Garden. It proved to be an exotic delight.

The opening run of Scottish Opera's first Ariadne. The quality of the cast speaks for itself, and Anthony Besch chose a period close to the time of composition, a visual confection of Viennese Secession and Jugendstil. Quite where Truffaldino reaching Naxos in frogman kit fitted in was not quite clear, but it was funny. This was a great contrast to Besch's equally valid, if more traditional, Sadler's Wells version from a dozen years earlier (with the same designer). Norman Del Mar was an experienced interpreter of Strauss, as well as having written one of the standard books on the composer.

Janet Baker was singing her second Strauss role with the company, which, like Octavian, she never sang anywhere else. As with her many other young man parts, such as Gluck's Orpheus, Handel's Caesar and Mozart's Idamante, she was entirely convincing. Norma Burrowes was just about perfect as Zerbinetta. Hugh Beresford had sung baritone roles at Sadler's Wells, but his later career as tenor had been mainly in Germany, including Tannhäuser at Bayreuth. He was a welcome visitor.

Performance DatesAriadne on Naxos 1975

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Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

12 Nov, 19.15 15 Nov, 19.15 18 Nov, 19.15 20 Nov, 19.15

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