Opera Scotland

Lady from the Sea 2012Scottish Opera

Read more about the opera Lady from the Sea

The world première of an opera based on Henrik Ibsen's The Lady from the Sea made great use of video design to represent the acquatic aspects of the work, It also draws on the cinematic experience of composer Craig Armstrong, best known for his music to Baz Luhrmann's Romeo+Juliet and Moulin Rouge. When works commissioned by Scottish Opera have sometimes been criticised for being overlong and distinctly prolix, it seems ironic that when a composer chooses a dramatic masterpiece for his subject that the faults should perhaps lie in the other direction. There is usually so much in Ibsen's mature dramas that it seems surprising to find this fascinating play cut down to not much more than seventy minutes. It inevitably leads to a sense of perfunctoriness in the work, when there is little time for characters to assume the essential three dimensions. Still, that is, perhaps, a fault on the right side.

Director Harry Fehr's previous work for Scottish Opera was very different - Cinderella, Secret Marriage and Orlando, so this was an interesting contrast, very successfully stage-managed. While the overall quality of commitment from the performers was notable, it is the sense of light and space in the design, and emerging from the pit, that lingers in the mind. It is beautifully orchestrated, and any sense of thematic repetition is deliberately intended to focus attention on the ever-present sea. Derek Clark's orchestra gave a lovely performance, and one of the most praiseworthy aspects of the piece was the expert word-setting, allowing clear diction from all concerned.

Performance Cast

Ellida Dr Wangel's second wife

Claire Booth

Wangel a doctor

Mark Milhofer

Boletta Dr Wangel's daughter

Sarah Shorter

Hilde Dr Wangel's daughter

Daire Halpin

Arnholm Boletta's former tutor

Stephan Loges

Lyngstrand a patient of Dr Wangel

Alexander Sprague


David Morrison


Benedict Nelson

Performance DatesLady from the Sea 2012

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

29 Aug, 20.00 1 Sep, 21.00

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

8 Sep, 19.15 9 Sep, 14.15

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