Opera Scotland

Pelléas and Mélisande 1973Scottish Opera

Read more about the opera Pelléas et Mélisande

Colin Graham’s successful and atmospheric 1972 staging was revived for six performances the following year to accompany Tristan when the company made its first trip to a London theatre – on this occasion Gibson’s old stamping ground at Sadler’s Wells (two performances of each work). The production as rehearsed by David Pountney was recognised as something of a classic, which was a particularly notable achievement when the Royal Opera's own great 1970 staging by Václav Kašlík (conducted by Pierre Boulez) was such a recent memory.

Anne Howells made a wonderful Mélisande, and would repeat the role both with Scottish Opera and at Covent Garden. Most of the cast had appeared in the first run the previous spring - George Shirley was still an excellent Pelléas, while Anna Reynolds made Geneviève a far more important role than it seems on paper - always observing. John Shirley-Quirk's Golaud was growing more subtle still, nervy and repressed. For a couple of performances, the Finnish veteran Kim Borg joined the company as Arkel. This memorable production continued to be revived regularly for several seasons.

Performance Cast


John Shirley-Quirk (Exc Sep 29)

Neil Howlett (Sep 29)


Anne Howells

Geneviève mother of Golaud and Pelléas

Anna Reynolds

Arkel King of Allemonde, grandfather of Golaud and Pelléas

Joseph Rouleau (Aug 30, 31; Sep 29; Oct 9)

Kim Borg (Sep 15; Oct 2)

Pelléas Golaud’s half-brother

George Shirley

Yniold son of Golaud

Nan Christie


Norman White


Norman White

Performance DatesPelléas and Mélisande 1973

Map List

Sadler's Wells Theatre | London

30 Aug, 19.30 31 Aug, 19.30

King's Theatre, Glasgow | Glasgow

15 Sep, 19.30

Theatre Royal, Newcastle | Newcastle-upon-Tyne

29 Sep, 19.30

Grand Theatre, Leeds | Leeds

2 Oct, 19.30

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

9 Oct, 19.30

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