Opera Scotland

Night Flight 1963Scottish Opera

Read more about the opera Volo di notte

Christopher Grier's review of the British premiere argued this was  "a compelling, moving and authentic piece of musical theatre, yes. but perhaps there is a flaw at the heart of the matter, the character of Riviere himself..." he reserved much comment on the performnce for a week, but said 'the cast "sing and act with a distinction that deserves more comment than is possible at this moment, as do also Peter Ebert's production and Ralph Koltai's sets."

For Scottish Opera’s second season the number of venues doubled, with the addition of Edinburgh, and there were three programmes instead of two. Following the previous year's Puccini (Butterfly) and Debussy (Pelléas), the pattern was moved even more towards the unusual. A Verdi work might have been expected, but with the formation of the new Scottish Opera Chorus, Otello was chosen. An unusual double-bill of the company's first living composer, Dallapiccola, (Night Flight) and Ravel (L'Heure Espagnole) was certainly stimulating. It was not a surprise for a Mozart opera to be presented. However the choice of Seraglio was still a bold one, avoiding the obvious.

When it came to performing its first opera by a living composer, the Italian Luigi Dallapiccola was hardly the most obvious choice. And having chosen Dallapiccola, then to go for Volo di notte rather than the more obvious Il prigioniero again showed the spirit of adventure for which Scottish Opera was renowned in its early years.

The source writer, Saint-Exupéry, remains popular, especially for The Little Prince, and another work based on flying, Wind, Sand and Stars. No-one else seems to have staged  this piece since, and its now-distant period may give it an added charm.

Cast details are from Opera Scotland's copy of the Glasgow programme.


Schedule foe Scottish Opera's Second Season - 1963

In Scottish Opera’s second season, one week was given in Glasgow followed by a week in Edinburgh

Glasgow, w/c 27 May:  Mon 27 Otello;  Tue 28 Seraglio;  Wed 29 Volo di Notte and L’Heure Espagnole;  Thu 30 Seraglio;  Fri 31 Volo di Notte and L’Heure Espagnole; Sat 01 Otello.

Edinburgh, w/c 3 June: Mon 3 Otello; Tue 4 Seraglio; Wed 5 Volo di Notte and L’Heure Espagnole; Thu 6 Seraglio;  Fri 7 Volo di Notte and L’Heure Espagnole;  Sat 8 Otello.

Performance DatesNight Flight 1963

Map List

King's Theatre, Glasgow | Glasgow

29 May, 19.00 31 May, 19.00

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

5 Jun, 19.00 7 Jun, 19.00

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