Opera Scotland

Monster 2002Scottish Opera

Read more about the opera Monster

A large team of excellent singing actors worked together to give this new opera on a potentially fascinating subject the best possible start. In spite of the rapid action spread through the twenty-five scenes, with plenty of period detail, even down to composed recitatives with fortepiano accompaniments, the work failed to work as a consistent whole. One observation was that the libretto reads very well as a fascinating literary play text on its own, and therefore, perhaps, could be said to obviate the need for music at all. There is so much attractive and dramatic music in the piece that it is unthinkable that it should not be heard again. Like a number of new operas, it would gain from the composer and librettist, with the benefit of experience of performance, being permitted to revise the work before further performances. Sadly, in the current financial climate there seems little prospect of that happening.

Back in the seventies, when Scottish Opera mounted four new operas by notable composers - Iain Hamilton, Robin Orr, Thomas Wilson and Thea Musgrave - they were all given tight parameters within which to work - a discipline which benefitted all four works, and which would surely have paid dividends both with Monster and the immediate previous commission, David Horne's Friend of the People.

Performance Cast

First Italian Servant

Philip Casperd

Second Italian Servant

John Carlo Bellotti

Lord Byron poet

Roderick Williams

Percy Bysshe Shelley poet and reformer

Stephen Rooke

John Polidori Lord Byron's physician

Hilton Marlton

Jane Clairmont step-sister to Mary Godwin

Arlene Rolph

Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin later Mary Shelley

Gail Pearson

Mary Wollstonecraft author, Mary's mother

Clare Shearer

William Godwin philosopher & political reformer, Mary's father

Gwion Thomas

Charles Lamb friend of William Godwin

Peter Van Hulle

Mary Lamb sister to Charles Lamb

Kathleen Wilkinson

Second Mrs Godwin mother of Jane Clairmont and step-mother to Mary

Ann Archibald

Victor Frankpierre a doctor of medical science at Ingolstadt

Stephen Allen

Samuel Taylor Coleridge poet and friend of William Godwin

Jonathan May

Performance DatesMonster 2002

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

28 Feb, 19.15 2 Mar, 19.15 20 Mar, 19.15 1 May, 19.15

Festival Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

18 Apr, 19.15

Dome, Brighton | Brighton

10 May, 19.30

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