Opera Scotland

Pelléas and Mélisande 1985Opéra de Lyon

Read more about the opera Pelléas et Mélisande

The operatic contribution to the 1985 Edinburgh Festival was largely French in origin. At the King's John Eliot Gardiner displayed his Lyon company in two revelatory productions - a fresh look at Pelléas et Mélisande and an unknown delight in Chabrier's Etoile. We also enjoyed the first visit by William Chistie's Les Arts Florissants, in a double-bill of baroque delights, Rameau (Anacréon) and Charpentier (Actéon).

A fascinating evening – not particularly because of the production, which was minimalist, but rather for the contribution of John Eliot Gardiner, who put into effect ideas the composer had to arrange the instruments in the pit in a novel layout, ignoring the traditional allocation by section, but mixing them up so the sound blended in an unusual way. The result was an intriguingly different sound world. The top quality cast helped to ensure an excellent performance, with José Van Dam making his only appearance in opera in Scotland..

Performance Cast


José Van Dam


Diana Montague

Geneviève mother of Golaud and Pelléas

Jocelyne Taillon

Arkel King of Allemonde, grandfather of Golaud and Pelléas

Pierre Thau

Pelléas Golaud’s half-brother

François Le Roux

Yniold son of Golaud

Françoise Golfier


Franck Morazzani


René Schirrer

Performance DatesPelléas and Mélisande 1985

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

14 Aug, 19.30 17 Aug, 19.30

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