Opera Scotland

Orfeo 1977Kent Opera

Read more about the opera Orfeo

Kent Opera was a small company which, for a decade or so, produced a superb range of imaginative stagings, sometimes of quite unusual repertoire, which was toured round southeast England. The productions were generally similar in scale to English Touring Opera, which nowadays fulfils the same role that Kent used to do. Quite what prompted this revelatory two day visit to Stirling is now a mystery, but we must be glad that they came.

Sir Roger Norrington has since gone on to investigate original performance practice in the works of Bruckner and similar large-scale Romantics, but in the seventies he developed work as a baroque specialist. He conducted all three full-length Monteverdi works in Kent, using a small band of period style instruments, and the sound world was completely different from the treatment by Raymond Leppard which was, until then, more familiar.

Miller's staging was immaculate. Culshaw's simple set consisted of three pillars which rotated to provide different backdrops - the visual influences were in the artistic style of Claude or Poussin, and the singers wore appropriate draperies which permitted them all to perform the simple dances required.

The whole effect was entrancing, and completely different from the comparatively unsubtle version brought to Edinburgh by the Zürich Opera a few months later. 

Performance Cast


Rosemary Hardy

Pastore I First Shepherd

Philip Griffiths

Pastore II Second Shepherd

Ian Thompson

Pastore III Third Shepherd

Wynford Evans

Pastore IV Fourth Shepherd

David Clyde

Ninfa a Wood Nymph

Patricia O'Neill


Peter Knapp


Jean Temperley

Messaggiera a messenger

Rosalind Plowright

Speranza Hope

Patricia Taylor

Caronte Charon, ferryman to the Underworld

Kenneth Francis

Proserpina wife of Pluto

Gloria Jennings

Plutone Pluto, Lord of the Underworld

William Mason

Spirito I First Spirit

Philip Griffiths

Spirito II Second Spirit

Ian Thompson

Spirito III Third Spirit

Nigel Beavan

Eco Echo

Robert King


Eric Roberts

Performance DatesOrfeo 1977

Map List

MacRobert Arts Centre | Stirling

2 May, 19.30 3 May, 19.30

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