Opera Scotland

Ruddigore 2012Opera North

Read more about the opera Ruddigore

After its excellent Pinocchio last year, it was encouraging to see Opera North returning to Edinburgh with another successful production of a rarity. Ruddigore had not had a professional performance in Scotland since the old D'Oyly Carte staging faded away forty years ago. Indeed the original 1887 score, most of which appears at this revival, had not been heard here since, well - 1887. The major revision carried out by the D'Oyly Carte organisation in 1920 can now be seen to have been unnecessary.

This highly imaginative staging uses the 1920s and a silent movie gothic horror theme for its design, and in the second act, with its famous ghostly picture gallery, it has no difficulty, unlike Gilbert himself, with the great seriousness of the music provided by Sullivan. Apt topical amendments to Robin's song 'Henceforth all the crimes that I find in The Times' (a superb number omitted in 1920 and only now restored) were supplied by Richard Stilgoe. The production by Jo Davies is consistently excellent and illuminating. This must rank as one of the best professional stagings of G & S since the end of copyright controls, ranking with the John Cox Patience (SWO), Keith Warner Iolanthe (SO) and Jonathan Miller Mikado (ENO). And the restoration of the original material works a treat.

Steven Page has included regular forays into G & S between his serious opera appearances. Having just presented an excellent Nick Shadow with Scottish Opera, his Sir Roderic is beautifully projected as a senior army officer, World War One vintage. His Pirate King for Scottish Opera next season should be worth waiting for.

While there are several welcome new faces, it is nice to see the extremely tall bass Richard Angas returning - he first appeared with Scottish Opera back in the sixties! His portrayal is a real scene-stealer, particularly in the spoof gothic horrors of the second act. So much of the performance was beautifully judged - one example being the notorious 'matter' trio, taken at the perfect tempo to allow for crisp articulation of the words while still giving the impression of great speed.

Performance Cast

Zorah a Professional Bridesmaid

Gillene Herbert

Dame Hannah Rose's Aunt

Gaynor Keeble (Exc Jun 9m)

Claire Pascoe (Jun 9m)

Rose Maybud a Village Maiden

Rebecca Moon

Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd disguised as Robin Oakapple, a Young Farmer

Grant Doyle (Jun 7, 8)

David Stout (Jun 9 m & e)

Old Adam Goodheart Robin's Faithful Servant

Richard Angas

Richard Dauntless Robin's Foster-brother, a Sailor

Joshua Ellicott

Mad Margaret

Heather Shipp

Sir Despard Murgatroyd of Ruddigore, a Wicked Baronet

Richard Burkhard

Sir Roderic Murgatroyd the Twenty-First Baronet

Steven Page

Performance DatesRuddigore 2012

Map List

Festival Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

7 Jun, 19.30 8 Jun, 19.30 9 Jun, 14.15 9 Jun, 19.30

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