Opera Scotland

Cenerentola 1969Scottish Opera

Read more about the opera Cenerentola

This was Scottish Opera’s first full scale production of a Rossini opera, chosen by Colin Graham because of what he saw as a greater sense of humanity than he found in The Barber.  Certainly he made a clear attempt to produce a group of three-dimensional characters.  The sisters didn't seem quite as bitchy as usual, and Magnifico was clearly tetchy and misguided rather than simply wicked.  His affection for this opera was emphasised when he directed it again with English Music Theatre.  That staging was then transferred to English National Opera in 1979.

The young Scottish conductor Bryden Thomson was making his first appearance with the company.  He returned over the next few seasons to conduct Don Giovanni and the Golden Cockerel.  However he spent much of his career on the continent and lived for most of that time in Dublin.  He only worked regularly in Scotland during his final years when he succeeded Neeme Järvi in charge of the RSNO.

Ian Wallace had sung Magnifico some fifteen years before at the Edinburgh Festival as a member of the Glyndebourne company. Patricia Kern had been a familiar visitor to Scotland for nearly a decade as a member of Sadler's Wells touring casts, with Cinderella and other Rossini roles being central to her repertoire.  This was her first role with Scottish Opera, and fortunately she became a regular guest for the rest of her career.

Emanuele Luzzati had designed A Midsummer Night's Dream for the English Opera Group, and was responsible for several stagings at Glyndebourne.  His designs for Cinderella used several pastel shades, mainly turquoise, cream and mauve.  Some elements were slightly clumsy at scene changes including curtains that were a bit obstinate and Cinderella's coach distinctly wobbly.  Perhaps the wonderful ball gowns for the three ladies used up more of the budget than anticipated.

The staging returned for a good run in spring 1970 but was not seen thereafter.  The most likely cause was the arrival of Jean-Pierre Ponnelle's slick production at the 1971 Edinburgh Festival.  It was surely very hard to compete with Abbado and the LSO with Teresa Berganza,  Luigi Alva and associates in Ponnelle's black and white confections.  But at least the gentlemen of the Scottish Opera Chorus knew their parts, bar switching to Italian, and were rewarded with a place in the excellent recording that was made during the Festival.


Scottish Opera's Eighth Season - 1969

The spring season contained one new production, The Trojans, with further performances of the recent Gondoliers and Full Circle, with revivals of Così fan tutte and Albert Herring.  The latter was taken on a three-stop German tour following up its visit to Florence in 1968.  A further new work was introduced at the Festival (on the Fringe) and the company's first full-scale Rossini at Christmas.

Western Theatre Ballet, had relocated to Glasgow as Scottish Theatre Ballet and so were available to collaborate on The Trojans and provide two  short works to partner Full Circle.

The seven operas performed during the year were:  Mozart (Così fan tutte);  Rossini (Cinderella);  Berlioz (The Trojans);  Sullivan (The Gondoliers); Britten (Albert Herring);  Orr (Full Circle);  and Purser (The Undertaker). 

The schedule was as follows:

Perth, w/c 31 March: Mon 31 np;  Tue 1 Apr np; Wed 2 np;  Thu 3 np;  Fri 4 np;  Sat 5 Così fan tutte.

Perth, w/c 7 April:  Mon 7 Così fan tutte; Tue 8 np; Wed 9 mat Full Circle & Ballet;  Wed 9 e Full Circle & Ballet;  Thu 10 Così fan tutte ;  Fri 11 Albert Herring;  Sat 12 Così fan tutte.

Glasgow, w/c 29 Apr:  Mon 28 np; Tue 29 np;  Wed 30 np;  Thu 1 May np;  Fri 2 np;  Sat 3 Trojans.

Glasgow, w/c 5 May:  Mon 5 Full Circle & Ballet;  Tue 6 np;  Wed 7 Così fan tutte; Thu 8 m Full Circle & Ballet;  Thu 8 e Full Circle & Ballet;  Fri 9 Così fan tutte;  Sat 10 Trojans.

Glasgow: w/c 12 May:  Mon 12 np;  Tue 13 Così fan tutte;  Wed 14 Trojans;  Thu 15 m Gondoliers;  Thu 15 e Gondoliers;  Fri 16 Albert Herring;  Sat 17 m Gondoliers;  Sat 17 e Gondoliers.

Edinburgh w/c 19 May:  Mon 19 Trojans;  Tue 20 Così fan tutte;  Wed 21 m Full Circle & Ballet;  Wed 21 e Full Circle & Ballet;  Thu 22 m Gondoliers;  Thu 22 e Gondoliers;  Fri 23 Così fan tutte;  Sat 24 Trojans.

Week comm 26/05:  Hanover Mon 26 Albert Herring;  Wed 28 Dortmund Albert Herring;  Fri 30 Augsburg Albert Herring.

Aberdeen, w/c 2 June:  Mon 2 np;  Tue 3 Così fan tutte;  Wed 4 Gondoliers;  Thu 5 Albert Herring;  Fri 6 Gondoliers;  Sat 7 Così fan tutte.

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe saw 10 performances, late-night at the Gateway Theatre in Leith Walk, of a double bill of short works.  The serious and well-regarded Full Circle was now paired with a new piece by John Purser - The Undertaker, a black comedy.

Edinburgh, w/c 1 Sep:  Mon 1;  Tue 2;  Wed 3;  Thu 4;  Fri 5;  Sat 6.

Edinburgh, w/c 8 Sep:  Mon 8;  Tue 9;  Wed 10;  Thu 11,

The company followed the previous year's precedent by mounting a pre-Christmas season at the Edinburgh King's.  There was a new production of Rossini's Cenerentola.  Also, as Edinburgh had not seen it in the spring, there were two further performances of Albert Herring, as well as more ballet, this time allowed complete evenings.

Edinburgh, w/c 1 December:  Mon 1 np; Tue 2 np; Wed 3 np; Thu 4 np; Fri 5 Cinderella;  Sat 6 Albert Herring.

Edinburgh, w/c 8 December:  Mon 8 Cinderella; Tue 9 np;  Wed 10 Cinderella;  Thu 11 np;  Fri 12 Cinderella;  Sat 13 Albert Herring.

The small-scale, piano-accompanied Opera For All tour continued.  Early in the year, two long-running productions, Madam Butterfly and Don Giovanni, were joined by Don Pasquale, replacing The Barber of Seville.  In the Autumn they were in turn retired, and Don Pasquale was joined by two new productions, Martha and La traviata.

Performance Cast

Clorinda daughter of Don Magnifico

Patricia Clark

Tisbe Clorinda's sister

Ann Baird

Angelina known as Cinderella, Magnifico's stepdaughter

Patricia Kern

Alidoro Ramiro's tutor, a philosopher

John Lawson Graham

Don Magnifico Baron of Montefiascone

Ian Wallace

Don Ramiro Prince of Salerno

Frederick Bateman

Dandini the Prince's valet

Ronald Morrison

Performance DatesCenerentola 1969

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

5 Dec, 19.30 8 Dec, 19.30 10 Dec, 19.30 12 Dec, 19.30

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