Opera Scotland

Rosenkavalier 1978Scottish Opera

Read more about the opera Rosenkavalier

This was final revival of Anthony Besch’s classic staging from 1971.  It showed absolutely no sign of staleness, and after a spring tour had a short run at the Glasgow Theatre Royal over Christmas and New Year.

Many of the cast were returning from earlier runs, including Anne Howells' charming Octavian and Catherine Wilson's elegant Marschallin.  Michael Langdon’s irrepressible Ochs was now indispensable, and the December run saw his farewell performances of a role he had performed in many of the world's great houses. Judith Pierce sang Marianne in every performance of the production, and Thomas Hemsley, as an unusually likeable Faninal, only missed one night.

Notable newcomers included Norma Burrowes as Sophie, Graham Clark as the Tenor, Cynthia Buchan as Annina, and Donald Maxwell putting in an early appearance as a Footman.

One important change was the introduction of a new conductor. Walter Weller.  Viennese through and through, and himself a former leader of the Vienna Philharmonic, he had the score of Rosenkavalier in his blood, and produced a level of idiomatic and stylish performance from the orchestra that was quite glorious.  His happy memory of these performances encouraged him to accept the post of the RSNO’s chief conductor a few years later.


Scottish Opera's 1978-79 season

Scottish Opera's fourth season at the Theatre Royal (1978-79) opened with Simon Boccanegra, and continued with JenůfaCatiline Conspiracy then an unusual triple-bill of SavitriFanny Robin and Dido and Aeneas. Next came SeraglioRosenkavalierHansel and GretelFledermausMidsummer Night's DreamBohèmeKátya Kabanová and Rigoletto. In June there followed the company's first staging of a musical, Fiddler on the Roof. Many of these works were also toured.

Performance Cast

Feldmarschallin Marie-Therese, Princess of Werdenberg (the Field-Marshal's wife)

Catherine Wilson

Octavian Count Rofrano

Anne Howells (Apr, May)

Delia Wallis (Dec, Jan)

Page to the Marschallin

Constantine Allen

First Footman

Gerald Henderson

Second Footman

Donald Maxwell

Third Footman

Malcolm Aitken

Fourth Footman

David Scrivens

Ochs Baron Ochs auf Lerchenau

Michael Langdon

Major- domo to the Marschallin

Michael Royle

Noble Widow

Ellen Jackson

First Noble Orphan

Una Buchanan

Second Noble Orphan

Eryl Royle

Third Noble Orphan

Linda Ormiston


Marie Slorach

Animal Seller

John Brackenridge


Keith Brookes


Tano Rea


Norman White


Tom Emlyn Williams

Valzacchi an intriguer

John Robertson

Annina Valzacchi's accomplice

Cynthia Buchan

Gillian Knight (May 11)

Kitchen Boy

Malcolm Allen


Tom Marandola


Graham Clark

Flute Player

Peter Bodenham

Leopold Baron Ochs' bastard son

Gordon Sandison

Faninal Herr von Faninal, a rich merchant

Thomas Hemsley

Sophie Sophie von Faninal, his daughter

Norma Burrowes

Marianne Marianne Leitmetzerin, Sophie's duenna

Judith Pierce

Major-domo to Faninal

Paul Strathearn

Notary's Clerk

Peter Bodenham

First Follower in Baron Ochs' retinue

James Paterson

Second Follower

Garrick Forbes

Third Follower

Halcro Johnston

Fourth Follower

Bruce Budd

Fifth Follower

Tom Emlyn Williams


Norman White


Peter Bodenham

First Waiter

Malcolm Allen

Second Waiter

Philip Cox

Third Waiter

Garrick Forbes

Fourth Waiter

Tom Emlyn Williams

Commissioner of Police

Bruce Budd

Performance DatesRosenkavalier 1978

Map List

Theatre Royal, Newcastle | Newcastle-upon-Tyne

27 Apr, 18.30 29 Apr, 18.30

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

2 May, 18.30 4 May, 18.30 9 May, 18.30 11 May, 18.30

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

20 Dec, 18.30 23 Dec, 18.30 2 Jan, 18.30 4 Jan, 18.30

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