Opera Scotland

Adelaide di Borgogna 2005Edinburgh International Festival

Read more about the opera Adelaide di Borgogna

Of the four rare Rossini works given concert performances in the Usher Hall during the last half of Brian McMaster's leadership of the Edinburgh Festival, Adelaide was the odd one out in that it was premiered in Rome rather than Naples.

While the sequence of Neapolitan works has been recognised as a fascinating stream of novelties, Adelaide had continued to be largely ignored.  A London revival in 1978 (in concert) did little to change grudging attitudes towards it.

This evening, again in concert, with the wonderful Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Chorus, revealed the work to be full of interest, with many sections of very high quality. The performance maintained the high musical standard of its predecessors.

Jennifer Larmore, in particular, made a superb impression as Otto, who ends as Holy Roman Emperor. Majella Cullagh, in the title role, threw off her virtuoso music in fine style, never forfeiting sympathy.

As the villains, father and son, Bruce Ford and Mirco Palazzi sang just as well, even if their characters were marginally less interesting.

An excellent recording of the event was also issued.  While many of Rossini's works have now been retrieved from oblivion, not all can be revived regularly.  However Adelaide was proved to be a great deal better than expected.


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

Adelaide widow of Lotario, King of Italy

Majella Cullagh

Ottone Otto I, Emperor of Germany

Jennifer Larmore

Adelberto son of Berengario

Bruce Ford

Berengario usurping King of Italy

Mirco Palazzi

Eurice Berengario's wife

Rebecca Bottone

Ernesto an officer of Ottone

Ashley Catling

Iroldo former governor of Canosso

Mark Wilde

Performance DatesAdelaide di Borgogna 2005

Map List

Usher Hall | Edinburgh

19 Aug, 19.30

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