Opera Scotland

Rheingold 1971Scottish Opera

Read more about the opera Rhinegold

Scottish Opera's tour in Spring 1971 was one of its most extended and elaborate, stretching from 11 March to 12 June. There were two clear phases, the first took in Perth, Aberdeen, Newcastle and Liverpool, with the second embracing Glasgow, Edinburgh and a return to Aberdeen.

The Perth opening included the recent stagings of Magic Flute and Traviata, accompanied by the BBC SSO, with two Britten revivals, Albert Herring and Turn of the Screw. for which the pit was occupied by the Scottish Opera Chamber Ensemble. In Aberdeen the SNO joined up for the revival of the 1967 Rheingold staging, as preparation for the single Ring Cycle announced for December. In Glasgow, Albert Herring dropped out, and the season's two big new productions, Siegfried and Der Rosenkavalier, arrived.

The spring tour had the first Wagner performances by the company since 1968. Gibson's grip on the cycle was now completely assured. David Ward was the central focus, with Joseph Ward also returning from 1967. Maureen Guy, an experienced Wagner performer, sang Fricka in the early performances before Anna Reynolds, the current Bayreuth incumbent, joined the cast. Raymond Myers and Francis Egerton both gave excellent, highly characterised performances as the dwarves. Simon Estes, also singing Sarastro in the Flute, had a lovely smoothly-produced bass, and would go on to major roles at Bayreuth quite soon afterwards.

By December there were several scheduled cast changes. However at the last minute the Loge also became ill, and John Dobson travelled from London, complete with his Covent Garden costume, to make his only appearance with the company.

Performance Cast

Woglinde a Rhinemaiden

Patricia Hay

Wellgunde a Rhinemaiden

Nancy Gottschalk (Exc Dec)

Heather Howson (Dec)

Flosshilde a Rhinemaiden

Josephte Clément (Exc Dec)

Claire Livingstone (Dec)

Alberich a Nibelung

Raymond Myers

Wotan leader of the gods

David Ward (Exc Jun 4)

Victor Godfrey (Jun 4)

Fricka wife of Wotan and goddess of marriage

Maureen Guy (Mar, Apr)

Anna Reynolds (May, Jun, Dec)

Freia sister of Fricka and goddess of love and spring

Catherine Wilson

Fasolt a giant

William McCue

Fafner a giant

Simon Estes (Exc Dec)

Louis Hendrikx (Dec)

Froh god of joy and youth

Derek Blackwell

Donner god of thunder

John Lawson Graham (Exc Dec)

John Shaw (Dec)

Loge god of fire and cunning

Joseph Ward (Exc Dec)

John Dobson (Dec)

Mime a Nibelung, Alberich's brother

Francis Egerton

Erda goddess of earth and wisdom

Patricia Purcell

Performance DatesRheingold 1971

Map List

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

30 Mar, 19.30 3 Apr, 19.30

Theatre Royal, Newcastle | Newcastle-upon-Tyne

6 Apr, 19.30 10 Apr, 19.30

Royal Court Theatre | Liverpool

12 Apr, 19.30

King's Theatre, Glasgow | Glasgow

7 May, 19.00 14 May, 19.00 13 Dec, 19.30

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

28 May, 19.00 4 Jun, 19.00

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