Opera Scotland

Lucia di Lammermoor 1971Scottish Opera for All

Read more about the opera Lucia di Lammermoor

Scottish Opera, during its first decade, had not staged Lucia, and neither had the Opera for All small-scale touring setup that had operated in England and Wales even before the 1966 launch of the Scottish branch. With the bicentenary of the birth of Sir Walter Scott on the horizon, it was high time to give it a look. This piano-accompanied Opera for All tour went one better in drawing attention to the most important Scottish influence on the operatic world by touring it in tandem with Bizet's even rarer Fair Maid of Perth. Rossini's Cinderella completed the trio.

The productions toured Scotland from mid-October to mid-January, with a stopover in Glasgow just before Christmas to allow principals to provide cover for the main company's famous Ring Cycle - a wise move, with Alexandra Gordon stepping in as the Woodbird in Siegfried.  From late January to early March 1972 they crossed the border, covering the Northeast and East Midlands, with a dash down to Canterbury included for good measure. Cinderella was then retired, after several seasons good service, and The Fair Maid was perhaps deemed to have entertained us quite long enough. But Lucia was revived for a further tour in 1972-3, in tandem with Rigoletto and Count Ory.

The cast, largely of in-house singers, was quite remarkable, with early appearances by both Malcolm Donnelly and Dennis O'Neill, directed by David Pountney. The major roles were double cast, with baritone and soprano also alternating in the short roles - rather demanding if illness intervened - it can hardly have been possible for one to sing both parts on the same evening. Could the Sextet ever become a quintet?

The dates of Lucia performances leading up to the Christmas break were as follows (10 in all): 18 Oct (Lanark), 20 Oct (Arbroath), 28 Oct (Motherwell), 29 Oct (Callander), 5 Nov (Aberdeen), 8 Nov (Kirkwall), 10 Nov (Lerwick), 18 Oct (Fortrose), 23 Nov (North Berwick), 22 Dec (Glasgow).

Cast details from the Richard Telfer collection in the Scottish Opera archive.

Performance Cast

Normanno the Ashtons' forester

Malcolm Donnelly

Alan Windsor

Enrico Lord Henry Ashton

Alan Windsor

Malcolm Donnelly

Raimondo Bide the Bent, the Ashtons' chaplain

Norman White

Lucia Lucy Ashton, Henry's Sister

Alexandra Gordon

Helen Roy

Alisa Ailsa, Lucy's companion

Helen Roy

Alexandra Gordon

Edgardo Edgar, the Master of Ravenswood

Geoffrey Shovelton

Arturo Lord Arthur Bucklaw

Dennis O'Neill

Performance DatesLucia di Lammermoor 1971

Map List

Memorial Hall, Lanark | Lanark

18 Oct, 19.30

Webster Theatre | Arbroath

20 Oct, 19.30

Motherwell Theatre | Motherwell

28 Oct, 19.30

Aberdeen Arts Centre | Aberdeen

5 Nov, 19.30

Close | Glasgow

22 Dec, 19.30

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