Opera Scotland

Makropulos Affair 2012Opera North

Read more about the opera Makropulos Affair

The Edinburgh Festival gave the Scottish premieres of three of this fascinating composers operas by the Prague National Theatre back in 1970.  While Scottish Opera had given two productions meantime, this was the first Festival staging of the work since then.

It's a few years since Makropulos put in an appearance in Scotland, so this new staging by Opera North was very welcome, especially with Richard Farnes conducting in a vividly dramatic fashion right from the prelude. The staging by Tom Cairns looked economical, but outlined the drama clearly - it must be said that the first act, in particular, is composed in a way that sometimes makes words difficult to distinguish, so for once supertitles to help out an English performance could be justified.

Versatile Swedish soprano Ylva Kihlberg was making her British debut, an effortlessly clear voice with crystalline high notes and excellent diction. She was a communicative actor making the most of the character's bitchiness in most of her appearances, without yet supplying the magnetism the part must also project.

The other roles were delivered in excellent style. James Creswell was also unknown in Scotland, and gave the solicitor rather more backbone than is sometimes the case. It was good to see Glasgow-trained Rebecca Afonwy-Jones making an impression in the small role of the Chambermaid, and Stephanie Corley was an unusually positive Kristina. Note also the return of Nigel Robson, a rare visitor to his native Scotland, who sang Albert Gregor with Scottish Opera a couple of decades ago.

Performance DatesMakropulos Affair 2012

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Festival Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

11 Aug, 19.15 13 Aug, 19.15

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