Opera Scotland

Adriana Lecouvreur 1963Teatro San Carlo, Naples

Read more about the opera Adriana Lecouvreur

The main operatic event of the 1963 Edinburgh Festival was the only visit of the San Carlo company from Naples, with several recognized star performers. Like Britten's English Opera Group, who seemed to appear almost annually at this time, they performed in the cramped and technically out-dated King's Theatre, traditionally the Festival's home for opera.

The Hungarian staging of Bartók's one-act Duke Bluebeard's Castle seems to have largely escaped attention, perhaps because the evening was dominated by the two Bartók ballets that followed it in the programme. By being treated essentially as a ballet event, it was performed at the larger Empire Theatre, only occasionally made available to the Festival for dance programmes. It also clashed with four of the Britten performances.

This was the belated Scottish premiere of a dramatic piece, one of the most successful by Puccini's contemporaries. It contains several arias that have remained familiar.

The lead role featured the Scottish debut of Magda Olivero, who had studied the part with the composer. She was replacing the originally announced star, Renata Tebaldi. Sesto Bruscantini and Juan Oncina were familiar to Edinburgh audiences from several visits with the Glyndebourne company. The doyen of Italian character performers, Piero de Palma, rarely sang in Britain, but this extremely brief appearance was also welcome.


Opera at the Edinburgh Festival - 1963

The six operas performed at the Festival were:  Gay/Pepusch (Beggar's Opera);  Donizetti  (Don Pasquale);  Verdi (Luisa Miller);  Cilea (Adriana Lecouvreur);  Bartók (Duke Bluebeard's Castle);   Britten (Rape of Lucretia).

The Festival's opera schedule was:

First week, commencing 19 August: Mon 19 Rape of Lucretia & Duke Bluebeard's Castle; Tue 20 Beggar's Opera & Bluebeard; Wed 21 Lucretia & Bluebeard; Thu 22 Beggar's Opera; Fri 23 Lucretia & Bluebeard; Sat 24 Beggar's Opera.

Second week, commencing 26 August: Mon 26 Luisa Miller; Tue 27 Adriana Lecouvreur; Wed 28 Luisa Miller; Thu 29 Don Pasquale; Fri 30 Adriana Lecouvreur; Sat 31 Luisa Miller.

Third week, commencing 2 Sep: Mon 2 Adriana Lecouvreur; Tue 3 Don Pasquale; Wed 4 Luisa Miller; Thu 5 Don Pasquale; Fri 6 Adriana Lecouvreur; Sat 7 Don Pasquale.

Performance Cast

Maurizio Count of Saxony

Juan Oncina

Prince de Bouillon

Enrico Campi

Abate di Chazeuil an abbé

Piero de Palma

Michonnet Stage Director of the Comédie-Française

Sesto Bruscantini

Quinault an actor

Augusto Frati

Poisson an actor

Vittorio Pandano

Adriana Lecouvreur leading actress at the Comédie-Française

Magda Olivero

Princesse de Bouillon

Adriana Lazzarini

Mlle Jouvenot an actress

Elena Barcis

Mlle Dangeville an actress

Anna di Stasio

Performance DatesAdriana Lecouvreur 1963

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

27 Aug, 19.00 30 Aug, 19.00 2 Sep, 19.00 6 Sep, 19.00

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