Opera Scotland

Golden Cockerel 1975Scottish Opera

Read more about the opera Golden Cockerel

The subscription season 1975-76 that launched the restored Theatre Royal 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. It proved to be an exotic delight.

This was the first run of David Pountney’s masterly production of this political satire which through its fairytale elements at the same time makes a perfect Christmas entertainment. In other hands this opera can drag but this production offered a convincing and dynamic presentation of the story.

Key features of the production were that the Cockerel was played by a trapeze artiste, with voice offstage, and contrasted with Dodon’s pet parrot, also on its perch. The two princes were played as semi-imbecile Siamese twins, providing a farcical element. The rich and colourful designs owed much to the influence of Bakst and Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, and were thoroughly memorable.

The only miscalculation in this first run was to cast a counter-tenor as the Astrologer. The original extremely high tenor sounds more appropriate by comparison, and the management succeeded in tracking one down for the later revivals.

Performance DatesGolden Cockerel 1975

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

10 Dec, 19.15 13 Dec, 19.15 16 Dec, 19.15 18 Dec, 19.15 20 Dec, 14.15

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