Opera Scotland

Count of Luxembourg 2014Opera Camerata

Read more about the opera Count of Luxembourg

The once hugely popular form of entertainment, the Viennese operetta, has fallen on hard times. Only Die Fledermaus and The Merry Widow seem to be performed by the professionals in this country nowadays. It is therefore extremely welcome to see Franz Lehár's The Count of Luxembourg in a rare revival by Opera Camerata. The musical arrangement by Bernard Grun and the English version of Eric Maschwitz both work well.

The Church Hill Theatre is a pleasantly intimate venue for a work of this kind. The light voices fielded by many amateur performers can project without difficulty. Also the long pages of dialogue can be handled with aplomb without having to resort to amplification, so often a feature that causes more problems than it solves.

When it first appeared, The Count of Luxembourg was hugely successful in this country, both in London and on tour. The plot is, naturally, frivolous verging on silly, but not much more so than several works that still hold the stage. It isn't as consistently good as The Merry Widow, but is still well worth doing from time to time. The best musical elements are excellent catchy numbers, shot through wiith a vein of melancholy that is entirely appropriate in a work produced such a short time before the outbreak of war.

Opera Camerata's handsome staging did it credit. The central role of Angèle was particularly finely sung by Fiona Main, and she had an excellent light touch with the dialogue. Her luxurious fin de siècle costuming was also particularly successful. The title role was played by Mike Towers in an appropriately debonair manner (though his Tudor-ish costume for the first act perhaps put one more in mind of Merrie England). The soubrette pairing was well taken by Susanne Horsburgh and Neil French, with George Ross also well in the picture as the kind of genial old buffer without whom no operetta plot would be complete.

Dancing was a notable feature of the evening, the cast performing admirably to the lush melodies.

Alison Rushworth on the podium obtained some most enjoyable playing from the pit band. all in all, this is a thoroughly enjoyable production well worth a visit.  Opera Camerata are to be congratulated on their enterprising choice of work.

You can read about the very first performances in Scotland here.


All tickets are £12 and are obtainable from Opera Camerata 0131 228 2304 or from the Usher Hall  website www.usherhall.co.uk 0131 228 1155

Performance Cast

Grand Duke Rutzinov

George Ross

Brissard an artist

Neil French

Paulovitch attendant on the Grand Duke

Stuart Clelland

Mentschikoff attendant on the Grand Duke

Roger Robertson

Pelegrin attendant on the Grand Duke

Richard Bull

Saville an artist

Graham Drew

Count René of Luxembourg an impoverished aristocrat

Mike Towers

Juliette a model

Susanne Horsburgh

Princess Kokozeff

Anna Hainsworth

Angèle Didier an opera singer

Fiona Main

Performance DatesCount of Luxembourg 2014

Map List

Church Hill Theatre | Edinburgh

8 Oct, 19.30 9 Oct, 19.30 10 Oct, 19.30 11 Oct, 19.30

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