Opera Scotland

Lohengrin (Act 2) 1983Edinburgh International Festival

Read more about the opera Lohengrin

The 1983 Festival, directed by John Drummond, was generally agreed to be a vintage one, with a Viennese theme. It had an effectively varied operatic programme.

The Hamburg State Opera packed the Playhouse with a successful, modernistic take on The Magic Flute, while the more intimate King's Theatre was the venue for a double-bill of unknown Zemlinsky pieces. These were A Florentine Tragedy and The Birthday of the Infanta (The Dwarf) - both derived from Oscar Wilde stories. Opera Theatre of St Louis brought a new American piece, The Postman Always Rings Twice by Stephen Paulus, and an unknown British one, Fennimore and Gerda by Delius. Scottish Opera mounted Britten's Death in Venice, a decade after its premiere, with Thomas Mann's source novella linking it to the Viennese theme.

The Usher Hall also contained two semi-operatic concerts, with Claudio Abbado on unfamiliar Wagnerian territory (Act 2 of Lohengrin), and Alexander Gibson and the local team tackling Schoenberg's huge Gurrelieder for the first time. Another Schoenberg rarity, the monodrama Erwartung, was also conducted by Abbado.

Here the Festival showed the great Claudio Abbado dipping his toe into Wagnerian waters, with the most Italianate of the music dramas. With hindsight it seems a pity that he didn't tackle the whole work with these singers at this stage. However the concert started with two appropriate works - Wagner's Faust Overture, and Webern's thoroughly Viennese Five Pieces for Orchestra, op10. With superb playing by the LSO, the evening worked well. The team of soloists was the equal of any, and Siegfried Jerusalem was making his only operatic appearance in Scotland - he had already appeared in 1982 under Solti in the Missa Solemnis.

Performance Cast

Heerufer Royal Herald

Siegfried Lorenz

Heinrich Henry the Fowler, King of Germany

Robert Lloyd

Friedrich von Telramund Count of Brabant

Hartmut Welker

Ortrud Friedrich's wife

Eva Randová

Elsa von Brabant sister of the missing Count Gottfried

Rosalind Plowright

Lohengrin a knight

Siegfried Jerusalem

Performance DatesLohengrin (Act 2) 1983

Map List

Usher Hall | Edinburgh

24 Aug, 20.00

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