Opera Scotland

Faust 1964Sadler's Wells Opera

Read more about the opera Faust

When Scottish Opera mounted its new production of Faust in the spring of 1964 it came in for some criticism, even though the Anthony Besch staging was seen to take a fresh look at the piece, described in some quarters as 'Brechtian'.  This new Sadler's Wells effort opened in Manchester on 8 September, reaching Scotland a few weeks later.  It boasted a new translation by Leonard Hancock, succeeding the familiar vintage version by Chorley that the Carl Rosa had always used.

This strange clash of scheduling by the two companies can only have been of real concern to the Glasgow audience, as Scottish Opera had not yet started to travel as far as Aberdeen.

Having visited Glasgow and Edinburgh in the spring, it is perhaps surprising that Sadler's Wells should return in the autumn, but the first visit only took in the central belt. This time, a further fortnight's stay, starting on 9 November, took in Glasgow again, but instead of Edinburgh, continued north to Aberdeen.

The repertoire was the same in both cities, though the order of performance varied slightly. The Glasgow schedule was: Mon Faust; Tue Girl of the Golden West; Wed Hansel and Gretel; Thu Carmen; Fri Seraglio; Sat mat Hansel and Gretel; Sat eve Faust. In Aberdeen the running order changed slightly, with Humperdinck and Mozart on Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by Puccini on Friday.

The cast was excellent, led by the experienced Warwick Braithwaite. Alberto Remedios was now developing into a well-schooled lyric tenor.  In 1965 he joined an extensive trip round Australia as a member of the Williamson company, led by Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge, with Luciano Pavarotti among the junior members. Faust was one of the Remedios roles on that tour.

Donald McIntyre later sang Méphistophélès, in French this time, with Scottish Opera, in the revival of the 1964 production.

Cast details are taken from a programme in Aberdeen City Library.  The Glasgow data is from a programme in the OperaScotland collection,  supplemented with reference to the Glasgow Herald review of 9 November for the substitution of Morag Noble for Wendy Baldwin.

Performance Cast

Faust a learned doctor

Alberto Remedios

Méphistophélès the devil

Donald McIntyre

Valentin Marguerite's brother

John Hauxvell

Wagner a student of Dr Faust

Kelvin Jones


Morag Noble (Nov 9)

Wendy Baldwin (Nov 14 e, 16, 21e)

Siébel a student of Dr Faust, in love with Marguerite

Anne Pashley

Marthe a neighbour

Elisabeth Bergman

Performance DatesFaust 1964

Map List

King's Theatre, Glasgow | Glasgow

9 Nov, 19.30 14 Nov, 19.30

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

16 Nov, 19.30 21 Nov, 19.30

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