Opera Scotland

Rake's Progress 1971Scottish Opera

Read more about the opera Rake's Progress

The original intention for these six performances was to revive Peter Ebert's staging from the 1967 Stravinsky-dominated Edinburgh Festival. Original cast members Alexander Young, Peter van der Bilt, Johanna Peters (adding Baba to her previous Mother Goose) and David Kelly were all recruited. With rehearsals about to start, it was discovered that the old production's sets were in no fit state, so desperate measures were called for. Young staff producer David Pountney was given his first new staging to prepare from scratch, with hardly any funds, and produced a stimulating version - perhaps the first time the opera had been directed in a way that owed absolutely nothing to Hogarth. The cutting of the role of the Keeper of the Madhouse from the final scene must have saved a few pennies. Baba was silenced by having a large commercial hairdryer lowered abruptly over her face, to be removed only in the course of the auction. Johanna Peters presumably did not suffer from claustrophobia.

The opening performance was also the opening night of the newly built MacRobert Centre on the campus at the University of Stirling, which the company would use for some rehearsals as well as performances in the few years before the Theatre Royal in Glasgow was restored. The autumn tour repertoire consisted of The Rake's Progress plus a further revival of Don Giovanni and more performances of the recent Barber of Seville staging.

The Scottish Baroque Ensenble, already used for the Britten chamber operas, was now expanded to chamber orchestra dimensions, with excellent results.

Performance Cast

Trulove a country squire

David Kelly

Anne Trulove Trulove's daughter

Jill Gomez

Tom Rakewell a young gentleman engaged to Anne

Alexander Young

Nick Shadow

Peter van der Bilt

Mother Goose keeper of the brothel

Johanna Peters

Baba the Turk a bearded lady and circus attraction

Johanna Peters

Sellem an auctioneer

John Robertson

Performance DatesRake's Progress 1971

Map List

MacRobert Arts Centre | Stirling

27 Sep, 19.30 29 Sep, 19.30 1 Oct, 19.30

Theatre Royal, Newcastle | Newcastle-upon-Tyne

13 Oct, 19.30

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

21 Oct, 19.30

King's Theatre, Glasgow | Glasgow

30 Oct, 19.30

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