Opera Scotland

A Little Night Music 2015Pitlochry Festival Theatre

Read more about the opera Little Night Music

During a long career as composer and librettist of Broadway musicals, Stephen Sondheim constantly broke boundaries by introducing new ideas of subject matter.  After producing lyrics for West Side Story and Gypsy, he began to compose as well with farce in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.  He satirised sophisticated New York life (Merrily We Roll Along, Company, Follies).  He produced seriously disturbing melodrama (Sweeney ToddAssassins, Passion).  He cast a beady eye over America's attempted colonisation of Japan (Pacific Overtures).  Modern European culture saw him look at folk tales (Into the Woods) and modern art (Sunday in the Park with George).

If there is one work that seems to have been widely loved right from the start it must surely be A Little Night Music.  Adapted, perhaps surprisingly, from a film by the normally solemn Ingmar Bergman, it is a delightful blend of sophisticated comedy and human drama.  And most of the music is composed in waltz time, which sounds tedious, but is never remotely dull.

 

Pitlochry Festival Theatre has for most of its existence (since 1951) relied on a successful formula for operating its summer repertoire system - 'Stay six days and see six plays'.  In 2010 a musical was included in the mix for the first time, initially with many of the performers on stage also showing themselves to be talented musicians.

For the 2015 season the other works performed were by Alan Ayckbourn (Improbable Fiction);  Somerset Maugham (Home and Beauty);  Alan Bennett (The Lady in the Van);  Oscar Wilde (The Importance of Being Earnest) and David Greig (Pyrenees).

This staging of A Little Night Music was in the safe hands of the theatre's director John Durnin, and he scarcely put a foot wrong.  The performance on Saturday, 26 September ran like a well-oiled machine and the packed audience lapped it up.   Many of the cast had already been fully occupied in the matinee of Home and Beauty, one of those rarely performed classics that Pitlochry has a habit of reviving successfully.

There was a small team of specialist musicians, led by musical director Jon Beales on keyboards, with Helen Macleod (Harp), Mark Wilson (Violin) and  Christine Smith (French Horn).  Otherwise the original orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick were performed by the actors themselves.

These were Ceri-lyn Cissone (flute, piccolo, keyboards, percussion);  Isla Carter (flute);  Thomas Heard (cor anglais, oboe, keyboards);  Dougal Lee (clarinet);  Helen Logan (violin);  Alan Mirren (Percussion);  Emma Odell (flute);  Simon Pontin (trumpet, percussion);  Reece Richardson (double bass, percussion);  Claire-Marie Seddon (trumpet);  Ronnie Simon (clarinet);  and Gavin Swift (cello, violin, keyboard, percussion).  The last named did at least get to play his cello on stage as part of the plot - while singing.

During the summer the company gave a total of 39 performances of this demanding work.  It opened the season on Friday, 22 May and was the final piece given on Saturday, 17 October.

Performance Cast

Mr Lindquist of the Liebeslieder Quintet

Thomas Heard

Mrs Nordstrom of the Liebeslieder Quintet

Emma Odell

Mrs Anderssen of the Liebeslieder Quintet

Margaret Preece

Mr Erlansson of the Liebeslieder Quintet

Simon Pontin

Mrs Segstrom of the Liebeslieder Quintet

Kathryn Martin

Madame Armfeldt

Jacqueline Dutoit

Fredrika Armfeldt Madame's granddaughter

Claire-Marie Seddon

Frid Madame Armfeldt's manservant

Ronnie Simon

Anne Egerman Fredrik's second wife

Ceri-Lyn Cissone

Henrik Egerman Fredrik's son

Gavin Swift

Fredrik Egerman a Lawyer

Dougal Lee

Petra maid to the Egerman household

Isla Carter

Desirée Armfeldt Madame's daughter

Basienka Blake

Count Carl Magnus Malcolm

Alan Mirren

Countess Charlotte Malcolm wife of Carl Magnus

Helen Logan

Bertrand

Reece Richardson

Performance DatesA Little Night Music 2015

Map List

Festival Theatre, Pitlochry | Pitlochry

22 May, 20.00 23 May, 14.00 23 May, 20.00 29 May, 20.00 30 May, 14.00 6 Jun, 20.00 12 Jun, 20.00 16 Jun, 20.00 19 Jun, 20.00 22 Jun, 20.00 27 Jun, 14.00 1 Jul, 20.00 4 Jul, 20.00 7 Jul, 20.00 8 Jul, 14.00 10 Jul, 20.00 18 Jul, 14.00 22 Jul, 20.00 25 Jul, 20.00 31 Jul, 20.00 5 Aug, 20.00 8 Aug, 20.00 11 Aug, 20.00 12 Aug, 14.00 21 Aug, 20.00 27 Aug, 20.00 1 Sep, 20.00 2 Sep, 14.00 9 Sep, 20.00 10 Sep, 14.00 14 Sep, 20.00 19 Sep, 14.00 24 Sep, 14.00 26 Sep, 20.00 2 Oct, 20.00 8 Oct, 20.00 12 Oct, 20.00 15 Oct, 14.00 17 Oct, 20.00

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