Opera Scotland

Midsummer Night's Dream 1972Scottish Opera

Read more about the opera Midsummer Night's Dream

Scottish Opera continued its policy of producing Britten’s chamber operas. Toby Robertson’s work was familiar in Scotland from the many years spent as director of the Prospect Theatre Company which had produced notable stagings of classic drama on tour and at the Edinburgh Festival (including Ian McKellen in Richard II and Edward II, Timothy West as Lear, John Neville in Much Ado).

This was the first of three operas he would direct with Scottish Opera. The actor Tim Curry was a regular at the Glasgow Citizens' Theatre. The leading Sadler's Wells mezzo Joyce Blackham joined the cast in October for what would be her only appearances with the company.

John Angelo Messana spent several seasons in Britain, mainly singing in baroque opera, though he also worked at the National Theatre (in Peter Hall's staging of Ben Jonson's Volpone, which also featured Paul Scofield, Ben Kingsley, Sir John Gielgud and Warren Clark).  He returned for several of the later performances.

James Bowman was chosen by Brtten to sing Oberon with the English Opera Group, and he would continue to sing it for many years.   Bll McCue never missed a performance as Bottom, really making the character his own, in spite of having several Flutes to play off.

Roderick Brydon by this time had the composer in his blood, and everything sounded completely natural.  Long after this staging was retired he came to the Edinburgh Festival in charge of an excellent Australan production.

Performance Cast

Puck Oberon's servant

Tim Curry

Tytania Queen of the Fairies

Patricia Clark

Oberon King of the Fairies

James Bowman (Exc Apr 19; Oct 11, 19)

John Angelo Messana (Apr 19; Oct 11, 19)

Lysander in love with Hermia

Gregory Dempsey (Exc Mar 25; May 25, 29; Oct 11, 19)

David Hillman (Oct 11, 19)

Geoffrey Shovelton (Mar 25; May 25, 29)

Hermia in love with Lysander

Patricia Kern (Exc Oct 11, 19)

Joyce Blackham (Oct 11, 19)

Demetrius in love with Hermia

Michael Maurel

Helena in love with Demetrius

Catherine Wilson

Peter Quince a carpenter

David Kelly

Snug a joiner

Norman White

Robin Starveling a tailor

John Lawson Graham

Francis Flute a bellows-mender

Francis Egerton

Tom Snout a tinker

John Robertson

Nick Bottom a weaver

William McCue

Theseus Duke of Athens

Ronald Morrison

Hippolyta Queen of the Amazons

Patricia Purcell

Peaseblossom a fairy

Paul Maurel

Cobweb a fairy

Damian Campbell

Mustardseed a fairy

George Scott

Moth a fairy

Andrew Wilson


Joseph Pathmanathan

Performance DatesMidsummer Night's Dream 1972

Map List

MacRobert Arts Centre | Stirling

24 Mar, 19.00 25 Mar, 19.00

Grand Theatre, Leeds | Leeds

30 Mar, 19.00

Royal Court Theatre | Liverpool

5 Apr, 19.00

Theatre Royal, Newcastle | Newcastle-upon-Tyne

12 Apr, 19.00

Perth Theatre | Perth

18 Apr, 19.00 19 Apr, 19.00

King's Theatre, Glasgow | Glasgow

6 May, 19.30 13 May, 19.30

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

25 May, 19.30 11 Oct, 19.30

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

29 May, 19.30 19 Oct, 19.30

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