Opera Scotland

Turco in Italia 1971Glyndebourne Touring Opera

Read more about the opera Turco in Italia

At this stage in its development, the Glyndebourne tour, established in 1967, took place in the spring, as a warm-up for the main Festival, though with a different orchestra. The company had never visited Scotland before, and appearances have continued to be very rare and treasured events. On this tour, there were three operas, as usual, two of them, Eugene Onegin and The Magic Flute, being in excellent, established stagings.  Il turco in Italia was in a less satisfactory production that had only opened the previous summer and which was never revived.

At the time, this fascinating comedy was a great rarity.  It had not been performed in Britain since the Scala visit to Edinburgh in 1957, and it was many years before it was mounted again.  This production itself was not a great success, looking generally cheap and cheerful rather than stylish. It was based on a group of carts or caravans at the beach, with brightly-coloured stripey canvas canopies.

What made this tour very special was the way in which two singers at the start of excellent careers managed to strike sparks off one another.  In addition to the lugubriously comic Richard Van Allan as Selim and Norma Burrowes as a spitfire Fiorilla, the smaller role of Narciso was also given a fine reading by a young Scottish tenor, Alexander Oliver.  Alan Charles and Wyndham Parfitt both gave highly individualised performances.


Glyndebourne Touring Opera in Scotland - 1971

The order of performance in Edinburgh was as follows:

Week commencing 5 Apr:  Mon 5 Turco in Italia;  Tue 6 Zauberflöte;  Wed 7  Eugene Onegin;  Thu 8 Turco in Italia;  Fri 9 Eugene Onegin;  Sat 10 Zauberflöte.

Performance Cast

Zaida formerly slave and fiancée of Selim

Penelope Mackay (Apr 5, 8)

Albazar formerly Selim's confidant

Malcolm Williams (Apr 5, 8)

Prosdocimo a poet

Alan Charles (Apr 5, 8)

Don Geronio a weak and cowardly gentleman

Wyndham Parfitt (Apr 5, 8)

Donna Fiorilla Geronio's wife

Norma Burrowes (Apr 5, 8)

Selim a Turkish prince on his travels

Richard Van Allan (Apr 5, 8)

Don Narciso a gentleman infatuated with Fiorilla

Alexander Oliver (Apr 5, 8)

Performance DatesTurco in Italia 1971

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

5 Apr, 19.00 8 Apr, 19.00

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