Opera Scotland

Otello 1976Scottish Opera

Read more about the opera Otello

Scottish Opera's first Theatre Royal subscription season (1975-76) contained ten operas in total, played in sequence. The gala Fledermaus was followed by short runs of Otello, Hermiston, Ariadne on Naxos, Così fan tutte, The Golden Cockerel, Die Fledermaus, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Don Giovanni, Madama Butterfly and Falstaff. The Otello had been seen regularly since 1963, the Falstaff only once before, in 1966. Fledermaus had been launched during the summer while Hermiston had been premiered at the recent Edinburgh Festival - both were previously unseen in Glasgow. The only productions that were brand new were Ariadne and Rimsky-Korsakov's Golden Cockerel, unseen in Scotland for half a century, and only occasionally since then at Covent Garden.

When the Glasgow theatre took its central role in the company's operations, there were predictions that Scottish Opera's touring pattern might suffer. That did eventually happen, but at first all seemed well. Otello had been revived in Glasgow back in October, with exciting results. Here, on the spring tour, we had Joanna Bruno, previously seen as Mimi, returning in an equally suitable role. Young Graham Clark made a spirited Roderigo. Charles Craig, John Shaw and David Hillman were among the familiar members of the cast, all smoothly rehearsed by Anthony Besch.

However there can be no doubt as to the most important feature - this was the first appearance in Scotland by John Mauceri, who, a decade later, would succeed Sir Alexander Gibson as musical director of the company. He made a great impression, and Verdi was always one of his strong suits.

Performance Cast

Montano predecessor of Otello in Cyprus

Norman White

Cassio Otello's lieutenant

David Hillman

Iago Otello's ensign

John Shaw

Roderigo a Venetian gentleman

Graham Clark

Otello a Moorish general, Venetian Governor of Cyprus

Charles Craig

Desdemona Otello's wife

Joanna Bruno

Emilia Iago's wife and Desdemona's companion

Claire Livingstone


Arthur Jackson

Lodovico envoy of the Venetian republic

William McCue

Performance DatesOtello 1976

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

12 May, 19.00 14 May, 19.00

Theatre Royal, Newcastle | Newcastle-upon-Tyne

28 May, 19.00

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

4 Jun, 19.30

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