Opera Scotland

Messiah 1975Dundee Choral Union

Read more about the opera Messiah

At this period, the Dundee Choral Union was, it seems, run on a shoestring, and tended to employ an orchestra made up of local players, combining professional and amateur, usually with a minimum of rehearsal.  On this occasion, the Courier reviewer was unimpressed with the results, which seemed generally a bit sluggish and lacking in excitement.

The best of the soloists was Patricia Hay, a contract artist with Scottish Opera, heard most frequently in Mozart roles.   Her performance was notable, particularly for her stylish singing of  'I know that my Redeemer liveth.'   The young baritone was technically not quite ready for the difficulties of this part.

Perhaps the most interesting of the soloists is the tenor, Graeme Matheson-Bruce.   He died at a tragically early age but had by then established himself as the greatest heroic tenor to have emerged from Scotland in recent times - perhaps in the whole of the twentieth century.   A native of Dundee, he had trained in Glasgow, and had just joined ENO in London after a year of further training at the London Opera Centre.

At the time of this Dundee appearance he was just embarking on his successful career,  with a big dramatic voice ideally suited to the works of Wagner and Strauss.  He was also recognised as an intense singing actor equipped to perform new works.  While it was good for local audiences to have a unique opportunity to hear him as a developing professional,  the roulades of Handelian writing did not show him at his most comfortable.

Production Cast


Tom Devine

Performance DatesMessiah 1975

Map List

Caird Hall | Dundee

14 Dec, 19.30

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