Opera Scotland

Salammbô 1991Kirov Opera, Leningrad

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The Edinburgh Festival opera programme in 1991 was dominated by visits by the two great Soviet companies. The Bolshoi from Moscow had enjoyed a ground-breaking success in the 1990 visit to Glasgow's year of culture with unusual pieces by Tchaikovsky and Rimsky-Korsakov, followed by a stop at Edinburgh with a Prokofiev piece. They now returned to Edinburgh with more Tchaikovsky and Rimsky-Korsakov. Meantime, Valery Gergiev and his Kirov forces from Leningrad also put in an appearance bringing a fascinating survey of all Musorgsky's operatic output.

One of the rarities brought to Edinburgh by the Kirov was this early attempt at a traditional grand opera, appropriately derived from a French literary source. The six composed scenes from this embryonic work were presented in versions by the composer, supplemented with the efforts of Shebalin and Nagovitsin. This made a vehicle for another magnetic performance by Olga Borodina, as well as providing the chorus with a foretaste of Boris.

The concert began with a further novelty in Night on a Bare Mountain, not in the wonderful, familiar, but radical adaptation by Rimsky-Korsakov, but rather in the original version as left by Musorgsky himself - a strident and fiercely gripping masterpiece.

Performance DatesSalammbô 1991

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Usher Hall | Edinburgh

15 Aug, 20.00

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