Opera Scotland

Rappresentatione di Anima e di Corpo 1972Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Düsseldorf & Duisburg

Read more about the opera Rappresentatione di Anima e di Corpo

After two performances of Zimmermann's Die Soldaten had threatened to blow the roof off the King's Theatre, the Deutsche Oper am Rhein's second offering could hardly have been more different. This fascinating early example of music theatre worked extremely well in the open spaces and warm acoustic of St Mary's Cathedral, and the stage was beautifully lit. The orchestra was concealed behind the stage, providing an atmospheric cushion of sound. Alberto Erede was an ever-welcome conductor, in a very different style of work from his Scottish Opera Otello in the spring..

Several of the singers appeared in both works, particularly notable being baritone Peter-Christoph Runge.  Rachel Yakar soon returned to the Festival in the Zurich Opera's Monteverdi cycle.  Faith Puleston was a young English mezzo who spent her career in Germany, though she had already visited Covent Garden for some performances as Amneris.  As usual with German companies, there was a squad of American residents as well.

Bernhard Paumgartner's realisation would seem very much over-romanticised nowadays, but it worked well in this context, and La rappresentatione came over as an effective, important, and unjustly neglected work, closer to opera than oratorio.


Opera at the Edinburgh Festival - 1972

The Festival 's opening week contained Scottish Opera's 1969 staging of The Trojans, revived with Janet Baker as Dido and Helga Dernesch as Cassandra.

There was a guest company - an unfamiliar German team, the Deutsche Oper am Rhein from Düsseldorf and Duisberg.  They brought two highly contrasted pieces.  Die Soldaten, by the late Bernd Alois Zimmermann, was a large-scale modern piece of music theatre.  Their other work was a complete contrast - a very early example of opera, or perhaps staged oratorio, Emilio de' Cavalieri's Rappresentatione di Anima e di Corpo.

The second team of visitors was the Teatro Massimo from Palermo.  Three rarities from the Italian  ottocento repertoire were presented.  The Rossini was the recently-revived first of his important Naples commissions, Elisabetta, regina d'Inghilterra.  The Verdi was the early Attila.  It was also essential that this company should feature a work by a Sicilian composer.  The obvious candidate, Bellini, was represented by an unknown early work,  La straniera.

In sum, the operas were by Cavalieri (Rappresentatione di Anima e di Corpo);  Rossini (Elisabetta, regina d'Inghilterra);  Bellini (La straniera);  Berlioz (The Trojans);  Verdi (Attila); Zimmermann (Die Soldaten)

Among the concerts at the Usher Hall, Daniel Barenboim conducted the London Philharmonic in two performances of the Brahms German Requiem.  Mahler's vocal symphony Das Lied von der Erde was presented by the Berlin Philharmonic and Herbert von Karajan.

The opera schedule was as follows:

Week commencing 21 August:  Mon 21 Die Soldaten; Tue 22 Die Soldaten; Wed 23 np;  Thu 24 Rappresentatione di Anima e di Corpo & The Trojans;  25 Rappresentatione;  26 The Trojans.

Week commencing 28 August: Mon 28 Attila;  Tue 29 np;  Wed 30 Attila;  Thu 31 La straniera;  Fri 1 Sep Attila;  Sat 2 La straniera.

Week commencing 4 September: Mon 4 Elisabetta, regina d'Inghilterra;  Tue 5 La straniera;  Wed 6 The Trojans;  Thus 7 Elisabetta;  Fri 8 La straniera;  Sat 9 Elisabetta.

Performance DatesRappresentatione di Anima e di Corpo 1972

Map List

St Mary's Cathedral, Palmerston Place | Edinburgh

24 Aug, 20.00 25 Aug, 20.00

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