Opera Scotland

Zauberflöte 2003Scottish Opera

Read more about the opera Magic Flute

The 2003-04 season of Scottish Opera was dominated by its opening event. Tim Albery's production of Der Ring des Nibelungen had been assembled during the three previous Edinburgh Festivals. The 2003 Festival was the culmination of this process, with complete cycles performed. After this intensive sequence of two Edinburgh cycles, the company moved on to give two in Glasgow and a final one at the recently opened Lowry at Salford Quays.

For non-Wagnerites, the rest of the season consisted of new productions of The Magic Flute and La bohème with a revival of Aïda. There was also an intimate staging of Eugene Onegin - with piano in the autumn and a small band in the spring. The Essential Scottish Opera team made its annual tour of the Highlands and Islands. A distinct novelty was a new piece composed specifically for children - on a larger scale than the company's previous works of this kind, The Minotaur by Julian Evans toured with a small orchestra.

The 2002-03 season had been dominated by the assembly of the Ring, with Siegfried opening at the Festival and Götterdämmerung in the spring. The rest of the season seemed rather insignificant by comparison. The highlight was a radically rethought Rigoletto, rescuing an unsuccessful staging. There was a revival of Fledermaus, a medium-scale Bohème and an unmemorable new production of Orfeo ed Euridice.

The season ended with this new staging of The Magic Flute. It received half a dozen performances in the central belt in May, but its main run was held over to form the first non-Wagner instalment of the following season. Almost inevitably there was a sense of disappointment and anticlimax. Jonathan Moore had previously made an excellent job of Inés de Castro's premiere, but had struggled to make sense of Life With an Idiot. The Flute didn't seem to be quite his thing. Musically it was fine, but the production, from Tamino's spacewalk at the start to Sarastro's crucifixion-cum-levitation at the end, did not seem to have much conviction or coherence. Vaguely modern costumes. lots of flickering electric screens. The eleven performances through the autumn were followed by a further group of eight in the new year. It was not revived.

Performance Cast

Tamino a Prince

Iain Paton (May)

Mark Wilde (Exc May)

First Lady in attendance on the Queen

Rachel Hynes

Second Lady in attendance on the Queen

Marianne Andersen

Third Lady in attendance on the Queen

Karen Cargill

Papageno a bird-catcher

Roland Wood

Queen of Night

Jennifer Rhys-Davies

Monostatos a servant in the Temple

Philip Salmon

Pamina daughter of the Queen of Night

Marie Arnet (May)

Gail Pearson (Exc May)

First Boy

Gillian Massey

Second Boy

Hazel McBain

Third Boy

Susie Broadbent

Speaker at the Temple

Roderick Williams

Sarastro High Priest of Isis and Osiris

Pauls Putninš (May)

Tim Mirfin (Exc May)

First Priest

Campbell Russell

Second Priest

Paul Anwyl

Papagena disguised as an old woman

Gillian Keith (May)

Benedikte Moes (Exc May)

First Armed Man

Declan McCusker

Second Armed Man

David Morrison


William Strachan

Philip Casperd

Performance DatesZauberflöte 2003

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

16 May, 19.15 20 May, 19.15 22 May, 19.15 24 May, 14.15 25 Sep, 19.15 27 Sep, 14.15 18 Dec, 19.15 19 Dec, 19.15

Festival Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

27 May, 19.15 29 May, 19.15 21 Oct, 19.15 23 Oct, 19.15 25 Oct, 19.15

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

16 Oct, 19.30 18 Oct, 19.30

Eden Court Theatre | Inverness

13 Nov, 19.15 15 Nov, 19.15

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