Opera Scotland

Idomeneo, Re di Creta 1983Scottish Opera

Read more about the opera Idomeneo, Re di Creta

Scottish Opera's 1983/84 season at the Theatre Royal opened with a new Death in Venice, followed before Christmas by Idomeneo (also new), and revivals of The Golden Cockerel and Hansel and Gretel. In the New Year, the season continued with revivals of L'elisir d'amore, La bohème and L'Egisto, before a final new production, Turandot, opened. There was also a short tour of the medium-scale theatres with a double bill of early one-act farces by Rossini, The Marriage Contract and The Silken Ladder. The autumn saw a further handful of performances of the recent Jonathan Miller Magic Flute, while the second half of December featured a two-week run of a musical, My Fair Lady.

For the company's first production of Mozart's great opera seria, John Cox borrowed his staging from Glyndebourne. This had been a modest success rather than a triumph in Sussex, but was substantially adjusted and rethought for its Scottish appearance, which worked rather well. Roger Butlin's sets used recreations of Turner paintings to spectacular effect, and the opening out of the stage by comparison with the original tunnel-like concept (which can be seen on DVD), allowed the chorus to take a greater part in the action.

The performance was conducted in a near-ideal dramatic fashion by a renowned Mazartian. The cast was undoubtedly uneven, but was led by the two great Scottish lyric sopranos of the day sharing the role of Ilia. The young American soprano Paula Scalera had made a great success of singing the fiendish role of Costanza in Vivaldi's Griselda at Buxton earlier in the summer, but did not quite have the power required for Elettra. The men were satisfactory without being inspiring - Michael Myers had originally been cast as Idamante, and switched to the title role at a relatively late stage, without quite having the technique to get through 'Fuor del mar' in comfort. Ian Caley, a Glyndebourne regular who had sung Idamante at the Coliseum, was still good in that role, though he could perhaps have been considered for the title part.

Performance DatesIdomeneo, Re di Creta 1983

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

19 Oct, 19.15 22 Oct, 19.15 25 Oct, 19.15 27 Oct, 19.15 29 Oct, 14.15 29 Nov, 19.15

Theatre Royal, Newcastle | Newcastle-upon-Tyne

24 Nov, 19.15 26 Nov, 19.15

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