Opera Scotland

Sorcerer 2010Opera della Luna

Read more about the opera Sorcerer

Opera della Luna as a name conjures up visions of moonshine and madness, and since the nineties they have shown great enterprise in staging imaginative productions of operettas by Sullivan, Strauss and Offenbach in smalll arrangements where imaginative treatment is vital.

The Sorcerer is probably among the most obscure pieces they have tackled, and had not been seen in Scotland in a professional production since the demise of the original D'Oyly Carte company in 1982. It does contain lovely moments, but is not an unblemished masterpiece, even if The Times critic of 1885 did maintain that he still thought it better than The Mikado. This director's concept took the delightful idea of placing events in a rural community in the 1970s, complete with all the visual horrors of that unforgotten era - psychedelia, flared trousers, Zapata moustaches, big hair, and lots of purple. To suggest that the whole ensemble was visually hideous can in this one very rare instance be taken for the highest praise.

The whole thing was done with tremendous conviction, on a set that had a marquee filling most of the stage, with enough space for the instrumental ensemble at the right hand side. The 'Ploverleigh Village Band' was a septet of flute, clarinet, oboe, cello, bass, percussion and piano, and the reduced arrangement rarely sounded inappropriate. Likewise, the cast of nine were able to suggest the presence of a chorus when required.

The evening rightly revolved round the reading of John Wellington Wells by Simon Butteriss, a highly experienced and expert artist with faultless patter. But all the others fitted into what was a true ensemble performance in the well-filled and enthusiastic Pitlochry auditorium. In particular, Oliver White had some mellifluous moments as Alexis, and Sylvia Clarke sounded like that rare thing, nowadays, a true contralto.

Performance Cast

Sir Marmaduke Pointdextre an elderly Baronet

Ian Belsey

Alexis of the Grenadier Guards, Sir Marmaduke's Son

Oliver White

Dr Daly Vicar of Ploverleigh

Philip Cox


Martin Lamb

John Wellington Wells of J W Wells & Co., Family Sorcerers

Simon Butteriss

Annabella, Lady Sangazure a Lady of Ancient Lineage

Sylvia Clarke

Aline Lady Sangazure's Daughter, betrothed to Alexis

Emma Morwood

Mrs Partlet a Pew-Opener

Susan Moore

Constance Mrs Partlet's Daughter

Claire Watkins (Feb)

Rhona McKail (Apr)

Performance DatesSorcerer 2010

Map List

Festival Theatre, Pitlochry | Pitlochry

27 Feb, 19.30

Byre Theatre | St Andrews

9 Apr, 19.30 10 Apr, 19.30

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