Opera Scotland

Oberto, conte di San Bonifacio 1993Edinburgh International Festival

Read more about the opera Oberto, conte di San Bonifacio

At this stage, concert performances of operas in the Usher Hall were far less frequent than they were to become in future years.  This evening was important for a number of reasons,  the first being that it was the Scottish premiere of Verdi's first completed opera.  Maria Guleghina and Jane Henschel both had extensive international careers, but this was the only occasion on which either sang in Scotland.  Alastair Miles was a familiar figure on the concert platform, but only once appeared here in a staged opera (and that was in a very small role).  Much of Dennis O'Neill's early career was spent with Scottish Opera, where his Verdi roles included Fenton, Alfredo and Duke of Mantua.  However, apart from a production of Werther and a single performance as Manrico he had not been back for some time.  Fiona Kimm was a frequent guest with Scottish Opera and also visited with English Touring Opera.  David Robertson's appearances were all in the concert hall.  They did include performances of a number of distinctly obscure operas - though the 2006 Meistersinger with Jonas Kaufmann was hardly one of those.


Opera at the 1993 Festival

The 1993 Festival saw an interesting concentration on Verdi operas, getting under way with Scottish Opera's first attempt at an early, pre-Macbeth, work in I due Foscari.  The company's new musical director, Richard Armstrong, also returned at the end of the Festival with his former company, Welsh National, and their superb production of the final masterpiece, Falstaff.  Between these, the Festival gave a concert performance, very well cast, of the first surviving opera, Oberto.

A second theme at this Festival was an attempt to juxtapose the works of two masters, Schubert and Janáček.  Opera was, inevitably, a difficult area in which to achieve this.  But a fascinating concert evening was compiled in the Usher Hall, combining Schubert's unstageable (no surviving dialogue) Die Freunde von Salamanka with Janáček's first opera, Šárka.

Performance Cast

Cuniza sister of Ezzelino da Romano

Jane Henschel

Riccardo conte di Salinguerra

Dennis O'Neill

Oberto conte di San Bonifacio

Alastair Miles

Leonora Oberto's daughter

Maria Guleghina

Imelda Cuniza's confidante

Fiona Kimm

Performance DatesOberto, conte di San Bonifacio 1993

Map List

Usher Hall | Edinburgh

26 Aug, 19.30

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