Opera Scotland

Capriccio 1985Scottish Opera

Read more about the opera Capriccio

Scottish Opera's subscription season 1984-85 consisted of nine operas, including six new productions, one of which was a world premiere. They began with Cavalli's Orion, which received its UK premiere at the Edinburgh Festival before joining the season's repertoire. The other works given were Fidelio (revival), Rigoletto (revival), Capriccio, Bartered Bride (revival), Barbiere di Siviglia, Don Giovanni, Orlando and Hedda Gabler (Edward Harper world premiere).

This was the Scottish premiere of this lovely, subtle masterpiece. John Cox directed with a deep knowledge gained from years of working on the opera at Glyndebourne and elsewhere, and, as at Glyndebourne, he updated events to the 1920s. Glasgow architect Jack Notman produced appropriately stylish designs, both for the salon and the fashionably-dressed characters.

The performances, especially from Margaret Marshall and Anne Howells, were excellent, guided by a very experienced Strauss expert, Norman Del Mar. Maria Massey's English translation was used, which was a great help for an audience largely unfamiliar with the work, and the singers all projected it clearly. The common modern practice, introduced by Glyndebourne, of inserting a tea interval was followed without damaging continuity unduly. Principal dancers from Scottish Ballet, under the direction of Peter Darrell, featured in a sadly rare collaboration with the opera company.

As a footnote, it might also be worth pointing out that, when Glyndebourne first mounted the work in 1963, two of the young singers listed among the manservants are Francis Egerton and Stafford Dean. It seems that Capriccio is a work that inspires affection in its performers as well as its audiences.

Although this staging was hired out to other companies abroad, it was never revived at home, which seems a waste. A wonderfully cast concert performance at the 2004 Edinburgh Festival provided some small compensation, but a strangely inadequate and misguided production imported to the 2007 Festival did the work few favours.

Performance DatesCapriccio 1985

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

9 Jan, 19.15 12 Jan, 19.15 19 Jan, 14.15 22 Jan, 19.15 24 Jan, 19.15

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

23 Feb, 19.15

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