Opera Scotland

Nozze di Figaro 1975Edinburgh Festival Opera

Read more about the opera Marriage of Figaro

The 1975 Festival had a promising programme, with four operas on display. Scottish Opera gave the premiere of Robin Orr's Hermiston, based on Robert Louis Stevenson's unfinished masterpiece. The Deutsche Oper from Berlin paid its second visit to Edinburgh with classic productions of Salome and Lulu. The Festival followed up its production of Don Giovanni, with Geraint Evans and Daniel Barenboim, which had been the centrepiece of the 1973 and 1974 programmes, with this staging by Evans himself, which would return in 1976. Like the Don Giovanni, it was recorded for posterity.

On the face of it, this was a very promising production with an outstanding cast. It has to be admitted that it didn’t quite work out that way – Geraint Evans had not imposed any particular interpretation, but simply allowed an experienced set of performers to do their own thing - most of the principals were just a bit too mature to be convincing, and the acting was all a bit ponderous. The main exceptions being the wonderful Susanna of Ileana Cotrubas, a youthful Marcellina from Birgit Finnilä, and the ageless Cherubino of Teresa Berganza. It was a pleasure to see some of the small roles in the hands of Scottish Opera company principals. By and large, Fischer-Dieskau and Evans were disappointingly unsubtle and blustery, failing to scale down their interpretations for the intimate King's Theatre.

Daniel Barenboim's work with the English Chamber Orchestra provided some compensation, showing a great improvement over the Don Giovanni, with much beautiful playing throughout the evening.  According to the Scotsman critic (26 August) 'But praise above all for Barenboim, conducting Marriage of Figaro for the first time in his career, the most beautiful playing from the ECO...'

Performance Cast

Figaro the Count's valet

Geraint Evans

Susanna the Countess's maid

Ileana Cotrubas

Cherubino the Count's page

Teresa Berganza

Count Almaviva a Spanish grandee

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau

Bartolo a doctor, the Countess's former guardian

William McCue

Marcellina Bartolo's housekeeper

Birgit Finnilä

Don Basilio a priest and music master

John Fryatt

Countess Almaviva

Heather Harper

Antonio a gardener, Susanna's uncle

Malcolm Donnelly

Don Curzio a lawyer

John Robertson

Barbarina daugher of Antonio

Danièle Perriers

First Peasant Girl

Elizabeth Ritchie

Second Peasant Girl

Patricia O'Neill

Performance DatesNozze di Figaro 1975

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

25 Aug, 19.30 28 Aug, 19.30 30 Aug, 19.30 7 Sep, 19.30 10 Sep, 19.30

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