Opera Scotland

Armida 2001Edinburgh International Festival

Read more about the opera Armida

One of the many interesting strands of work brought to the Edinburgh Festival during Brian McMaster’s years was a series of concert performances of rare Rossini operas with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Armida was the first of these, and it was a great success. The title role had an electrifying performance from Cecilia Gasdia, whose recording of several years earlier is outstanding. The bevy of tenors were uniformly astonishing in their fiendishly difficult music.

The subsequent operas (Zelmira, Adelaide di Borgogna and La donna del lago) were produced in association with Opera Rara and their recordings have since been issued. It is regrettable that this performance was not also preserved. These enterprising revivals were made possible by support from the Peter Moores Foundation, a great supporter of varied operatic ventures.


Rare Rossini Operas at the Edinburgh Festival

Several Rossini works have appeared in Edinburgh when they were little known anywhere.  The first of these imported stagings was Il signor Bruschino (from Florence 1969), then  Elisabetta, Regina d'Inghilterra, brought from Palermo in 1972.  After a near thirty-year gap Festival Director Brian McMaster in 2001 began a series of four concert performances with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and top-rank performers. The series began with Armida, sponsored by the Peter Moores Foundation.  That sponsorship continued with live recordings made by Opera Rara - Zelmira (2003),  Adelaide di Borgogna(2005), and La Donna del Lago (2006).  After a gap, in 2011 a staging of Semiramide appeared.

Performance Cast

Goffredo leader of the Crusaders

Barry Banks

Rinaldo a knight

Bruce Ford

Idraote a wizard, Armida’s companion

John Relyea

Armida a Syrian princess and sorceress

Cecilia Gasdia

Gernando a rival to Rinaldo

Kenneth Tarver

Eustazio friend of Rinaldo

Campbell Russell

Ubaldo another friend

Paul Austin Kelly

Carlo and another

Norman Shankle

Astarotte a spirit in Armida’s enchanted garden

John Relyea

Performance DatesArmida 2001

Map List

Usher Hall | Edinburgh

21 Aug, 19.30

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