Opera Scotland

Girl Crazy 1987Scottish Opera

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This highly unusual Festival concert turned out to be thoroughly enjoyable, even if standards of execution were not always perfect. There were frequent indications of the speed with which the event had been put together, and it seemed likely that cuts had been made at a late stage.

John Mauceri is a recognized authority on the 'golden age' of the Broadway musical, and he and several colleagues are devoting much effort to the attempted reconstruction of scores that were seen as ephemeral, and not looked after as one might have hoped. Indeed the first item in the programme, the overture to Oh, Kay! from 1926, had, it seems, only just come to light in this orchestration. A superb treat to hear it so quickly. This was followed by the concert version of Bernstein's early ballet Fancy Free - nice enough, but not perhaps an essential element of the evening. The last piece before the break was another Gershwin overture, to Show Girl from 1929, a few months before Girl Crazy.

The sense of vigour that the Scottish Opera Orchestra, really in jazz band mode, brought to proceedings, was thoroughly refreshing, and after the interval the company's chorus made an equally fine impression. The solo quartet trusted with the repeated airings of 'Bidin' My Time' were particularly effective. The three imported Broadway singers were, of course, naturally attuned to the idiom, and projected everything they did across the footlights as if in the theatre.

If Mauceri's period with the company turned out to be disappointingly short (1986-93), this, and the following year's concert performance of Weill's Lady in the Dark, showed great  enterprise.  They were excellent supplements to Scottish Opera's stage productions of other twentieth century Americana - Bernstein's Candide (1988), Weill's Street Scene (1989) and Blitzstein's Regina (1991).


Scottish Opera's Season - 1986/87

This season comprised Nine main stage productions plus an Opera-Go-Round staging with piano, and a most unusual Edinburgh Festival event.   The new productions were Carmen,  Iolanthe,  Intermezzo,  Flying Dutchman,   From the House of the Dead,   Billy Budd,  and  Madama Butterfly.  There were two revivals, The Marriage of Figaro and The Barber of Seville.  The Opera-Go Round production was of Verdi's Macbeth,  The season opened at the Edinburgh Festival, with a concert including music from Gershwin's Girl Crazy.

Performance Cast

Danny Churchill a wealthy New York playboy

Harry Groener

Molly Gray a postgirl

Tudi Roche

Slick Fothergill a San Franciscan casino manager

Harry Groener

Kate Fothergill Slick's wife, an entertainer

Susan Terry

Patsy West a New York switchboard operator

Jane Oakland

Vocal Quartet 1

John Brackenridge

Vocal Quartet 2

Graeme Danby

Vocal Quartet 3

Graham Lister

Vocal Quartet 4

Tom McVeigh

Performance DatesGirl Crazy 1987

Map List

Usher Hall | Edinburgh

24 Aug, 20.00

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