Opera Scotland

Zauberflöte 1956Hamburg State Opera

Read more about the opera Magic Flute

The first thing to note about this run of the Flute is that for six of the seven performances the conductor was Rudolf Kempe.  He was renowned for the lyricism he was able to inject into any musical style, whether Wagner,  Verdi,  Strauss - or Mozart.

The singers on call also contain a cluster of soloists who were leaders in their field - Rudolf Schock,  Elisabeth Grümmer,  Arnold van Mill and Anneliese Rothenberger.  The Hamburg company at this time was well-stocked with high-quality voices.


Hamburg State Opera at the Edinburgh Festival 1956

The Hamburg State Opera had been the first company other than Glyndebourne to perform in Edinburgh. That was back in 1952, and Glyndebourne had then returned for the following three festivals.

1956 saw a second visit from Hamburg, this time with four programmes. The first visit had brought five solidly Germanic classics, plus a rarity in Hindemith's Mathis der Maler. On the new visit, only Die Zauberflöte was repeated, still in a staging by Rennert. The Barber of Baghdad by Cornelius was (still is) a real rarity, never performed in Scotland before. Salome had not been done since the days of Beecham, and there was a stimulating double bill of Stravinsky in which Oedipus Rex was partnered, not entirely successfully, with a British premiere for the short comedy Mavra.

In addition to Salome, the 1956 visit included Die Zauberflöte, a double-bill of little-known Stravinsky pieces, Oedipus Rex and Mavra, with a real rarity in the delightful comedy The Barber of Bagdad by Peter Cornelius.

Performance Cast

Tamino a Prince

Rudolf Schock (Exc Aug 24, 27)

Heinz Hoppe (Aug 24, 27)

Papageno a bird-catcher

Horst Günter

Queen of Night

Colette Lorand

Monostatos a servant in the Temple

Kurt Marschner

Pamina daughter of the Queen of Night

Anny Schlemm (Exc Aug 31, Sep 3)

Elisabeth Grümmer (Aug 31, Sep 3)

Speaker at the Temple

James Pease

Sarastro High Priest of Isis and Osiris

Arnold van Mill

First Priest

Peter Markwort

Papagena disguised as an old woman

Anneliese Rothenberger (Exc Aug 24, 27, 29)

Erna Maria Duske (Aug 24, 27, 29)

Performance DatesZauberflöte 1956

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

20 Aug, 19.00 22 Aug, 19.00 24 Aug, 19.00 29 Aug, 19.00 29 Aug, 19.00 31 Aug, 19.00 3 Sep, 19.00

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