Opera Scotland

King Arthur 1970English Opera Group

Read more about the opera King Arthur

As an enterprising supplement to a new Traviata and further performances of the summer's staging of The Magic Flute, Scottish Opera brought in this recent English Opera Group production in a new realisation by director Colin Graham.

This production was ingenious but would not be accepted now that we expect such works to be musically as authentic as possible.  However it made for a thoroughly enjoyable evening in the theatre, but even then it was controversial because of the freedom with which Graham had adapted the work, importing other music as well as cutting and adapting Dryden's text. In the original the only named characters who sing are Philidel and Grimbald. In this version, the wonderful winter frost scene becomes a major set piece and 'Fairest Isle' is allotted to Emmeline at the end of the work, when the forces of good (Arthur, Merlin and Philidel) have triumphed over the wicked invaders (Oswald, Guillamar, and Grimbald).

The performance was persuasive in every way, with Denis Dowling and David Hartley as the good and evil enchanters. Norma Burrowes showed her talent as Merlin's familiar, while Michael Rippon and Peter Leeming were both outrageous scene-stealers as the extremely earthy assistant to Guillamar. Elizabeth Gale and Anthony Roden also made notable debuts.


The schedule for this short December season was:

Edinburgh, Royal Lyceum Theatre: Fri Dec 11 Magic Flute;  Sat 12 Traviata; Sun 13 -;  Mon 14 King Arthur; Tue 15 Traviata;  Wed 16 Magic Flute;  Thu 17 King Arthur;  Fri 18 Traviata;  Sat 19 mat Magic Flute; Sat 19 eve King Arthur.

Performance DatesKing Arthur 1970

Map List

Royal Lyceum Theatre | Edinburgh

14 Dec, 19.30 17 Dec, 19.30 19 Dec, 19.30

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