Opera Scotland

Matrimonio segreto 2008Scottish Opera

Read more about the opera Secret Marriage

Scottish Opera's 2008-09 season was unusual, in that it did not feature any revivals. What is more, the level of presentation, musical and dramatic, was also of a consistently high standard. Perhaps the one slight disappointment was the Edinburgh Festival offering, a rare staging of Smetana's charming domestic comedy The Two Widows. This was the company's second production of the piece. It was joined by two popular classics, La traviata and Così fan tutte, both directed in memorably intelligent fashion by David McVicar. The rarities were by Cimarosa (The Secret Marriage) and Massenet (Manon). Bellini's I puritani was given in a single concert performance. These were all company premieres. The small-scale tour was, unusually, an operetta, The Merry Widow. After the great success of the previous year's opener, the company also put on a second group of new, experimental 15-minute chamber dramas in the 5:15 series. Another welcome rarity was the next collaboration with the RSAMD - a large student cast assisted by Scottish Opera's musicians and technical staff, in a hugely enjoyable version of Prokofiev's Love For Three Oranges.

After the wonderful success of the Cologne staging that came to Edinburgh in 1980, it seemed inevitable that Scottish Opera would do it one day. But time moved on, and when the company ran into the financial buffers staging such a rarity seemed a less likely option. So full marks to them for taking up the challenge, and giving the task to Harry Fehr, fresh from his delightful medium-scale Austenite staging of Cenerentola.

Was it more of the same? Well that is certainly an option for the future - the substantial set, with many rooms upstairs and down, appears to be a nicely designed townhouse such as would grace Edinburgh or Bath in Regency times. However within that the concept was all 1950s, with white walls everywhere and elegant modern furnishings and chic new-look style costumes for the girls - all three of them, for here Fidalma was treated as Geronimo's much younger sister - more of a big sister than an aunt to the two daughters. She is a threat not just to the relationship of Carolina and Paolino, but also a possible rival for Elisetta when the Count appears. The result was entirely dependent on the high quality of detailed acting drawn from the cast - all humans, with a minimum of farce. The only reservation was perhaps a slight lack of warmth and affection in the whole treatment - but a definite success nonetheless.

Performance Cast

Geronimo a rich merchant

Andrew Slater

Elisetta Geronimo's elder daughter

Renate Arends

Carolina Geronimo's second daughter

Rebecca Bottone

Fidalma Geronimo's widowed sister

Wendy Dawn Thompson

Count Robinson an English milord

Quirijn de Lang

Paolino Geronimo's young clerk

Matthew Garrett


Shuna Scott Sendall

Performance DatesMatrimonio segreto 2008

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

7 Oct, 19.15 11 Oct, 19.15 18 Oct, 14.15 31 Oct, 19.15

Eden Court Theatre | Inverness

7 Nov, 19.15

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

14 Nov, 19.30

Festival Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

22 Nov, 19.15 26 Nov, 19.15 28 Nov, 19.15

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