Opera Scotland

Sunday Series - Mozart and Strauss 2016Scottish Opera

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The third and last of the 2015-16 season of Sunday Series concerts featured Kate Royal singing three arias by Mozart and four songs by Richard Strauss, accompanied by the Orchestra of Scottish Opera conducted by Stuart Stratford. When she last appeared with the company she made an immediate impression in the short role of Iris in Handel's Semele. Since then her Scottish appearances have been in concert performances of Mozart operas with the SCO - Zaide with Sir Charles Mackerras at the Edinburgh Festival and Donna Elvira with Robin Ticciati, as well as a Brahms Requiem.

Mozart remains at the core of her repertoire, though she is now singing other composers including Britten and Strauss. It was the Strauss songs, eventually five, that perhaps made the greatest impression here, the advertised group linked by the subject matter of flowers, with a beautifully poised encore in the form of 'Morgen'.

The first half, devoted to Mozart, took a few minutes to settle in the Figaro overture, but the aria was fine. The Idomeneo solo was even better, reminding us of how long it is since Scottish Opera tackled this masterpiece. The ballet music was well worth hearing in this context, as it is difficult to fit it satisfactorily into a performance of the opera - as the conductor pointed out, a symphony in all but name. The mighty concert scena 'Bella mia fiamma' closed the first half. It is a strange piece, fiendishly difficult with awkward harmonies and intervals. It is rarely heard, and must have sounded seriously weird to early audiences - almost like Schoenberg in 1910. Kate Royal was equal to all the potential problems it presented.

The Strauss half began with restraint, the orchestral accompaniments gaining in power for the luxuriant sounds of 'Ich wollt ein Sträusslein binden'. There were a few more minutes of restraint before the band was allowed to get stuck into the Suite from Der Rosenkavalier - more music they haven't played for a while.

The full programme was:

Mozart -

Overture & Porgi amor Le nozze di Figaro, K492.

Padre. germani, addio & Ballet Music Idomeneo, K366.

Concert Aria - Bella mia fiamma....Resta o cara, K528.


Strauss -

Das Rosenband; Allerseelen; Ich wollt ein Sträusslein binden; Ruhe, meine Seele.

Suite Der Rosenkavalier, op59.

Encore - Morgen, op10 no4.

Performance Cast


Kate Royal

Performance DatesSunday Series - Mozart and Strauss 2016

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

15 May, 16.00

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