Opera Scotland

Oedipe 2002Edinburgh International Festival

Read more about the opera Oedipe

The opera programme at the 2002 Edinburgh Festival was of excellent quality. The two central stagings were of Wagner - a co-production with Salzburg of Parsifal, conducted by Claudio Abbado, directed by Peter Stein, and Siegfried - the third instalment of Scottish Opera's memorable Ring cycle, conducted by Richard Armstrong and directed by Tim Albery. The Turn of the Screw was directed by Luc Bondy and conducted by Daniel Harding. There was also a striking production of Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex from Canada, directed by François Girard. Concert performances included Donizetti's Maria Stuarda conducted by Charles Mackerras and Enescu's Oedipe.

One rewarding strand of repertoire that Brian McMaster featured during his years running the Festival was that of well-prepared single concert performances of French operas. Berlioz's masterpiece The Trojans, the largest of these, may not quite count as a great rarity in Scotland. However the other little known operas on display included works by Rameau (Zoroastre), Chabrier (Briséïs), Chausson (Le roi Arthus) and Fauré (Pénélope). One of the rarest was undoubtedly this fascinating British premiere of Oedipe by the Romanian-French polymath Georges Enescu.

This amazingly ambitious work attempts to cram the entire sequence of Oedipus plays into one evening, and is remarkably successful in doing so. The Canadian bass John Relyea was by now a regular participant in these and other rarities, though has never sung in a fully-staged opera in Scotland.

The Canadian Opera brought a stimulating staging of Oedipus Rex, Stravinsky's more familiar interpretation, to give extra resonance to this fascinating rarity.

Performance DatesOedipe 2002

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Usher Hall | Edinburgh

18 Aug, 19.30

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