Opera Scotland

Pelléas and Mélisande 2004Hanover Staatsoper

Read more about the opera Pelléas et Mélisande

Edinburgh's major visiting company in 2004 was from Germany, but a Festival newcomer, the Hanover State Opera. In a mere four performances they presented the work of three of Europe's most controversial 'concept' direction teams. The single performance of Il trovatore, never presented at a previous Festival, was directed by the never-dull Catalan Calixto Bieito, whose production of Celestina for Birmingham Rep was also seen at the Festival. Peter Konwitschny's production was of Nono's massive Al gran sole carico d'amore, while Jossi Wieler and Sergio Morabito took a fresh look at Pelléas et Mélisande, given two performances to end the visit. The final opera was Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice, presented by Opera North in a co-production with Emio Greco I PC. There were four operas given in concert at the Usher Hall. A stimulating series gave a survey of the three major Weber operas - Der Freischütz, Euryanthe and Oberon. The first two had not been seen in Edinburgh in half a century. There was an excellent Bartók evening, including Duke Bluebeard's Castle. The final offering saw a vintage cast assembled for Strauss' Capriccio.

The Wieler Morabito directing duo had featured in a production of Handel's Alcina a few years before which split opinion. This Pelléas caused less division, but seemed to find few admirers. Those who dislike the opera, finding it tedious and pretentious, were largely confirmed in their view. Those who love the work and consider it to be one of the great masterpieces, were often driven to distraction by the antimusical activities on stage - the constant noise (Yniold kicking his toys around being a particular irritant). A generally acceptable performance came from the pit, but none of the soloists had any particular distinction, though the two title roles were given nicely sung performances.

Performance Cast


Oliver Zwarg


Alla Kravchuk

Geneviève mother of Golaud and Pelléas

Danielle Grima

Arkel King of Allemonde, grandfather of Golaud and Pelléas

Xioliang Li

Pelléas Golaud’s half-brother

Will Hartmann

Yniold son of Golaud

Sunhae Im


Jutta Schröder


Daniel Henriks

Performance DatesPelléas and Mélisande 2004

Map List

Festival Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

20 Aug, 19.15 28 Aug, 19.15

© Copyright Opera Scotland 2023

Site by SiteBuddha