Opera Scotland

Orion 1984Scottish Opera

Read more about the opera Orione

In 1982 Scottish Opera mounted their first Cavalli production, L'Egisto. The success of this little known baroque work, in an edition by Raymond Leppard, exceeded any expectations of the audience - the music was immediately attractive, the plot amusing and its confusions easy to follow, even in Italian before the arrival of supertitles. It was beautifully sung and acted by a distinguished cast, and it was performed in a memorably attractive production by John Cox in superb designs by Allan Charles Klein. This was filmed by the BBC and toured to Europe, iindeed to Venice itself, and was revived in spring 1984, this time in English translation, with equal success.

The omens for a follow-up were therefore good when Orion was announced for the 1984 Edinburgh Festival. Like Egisto, the staging was imported from Santa Fe. The production team was highly reputable, at least in theatre, since Peter Wood was a famous director of restoration comedy at the National Theatre, and John Bury had for many years collaborated with Sir Peter Hall at Glyndebourne and elsewhere. The cast assembled included a favourite performer, Anne Howells, returning after several years working elsewhere, as well as Ann Howard and Lillian Watson, and even Willard White in a small role. Raymond Leppard would conduct his own edition.

Somehow it all felt slightly flat and disappointing. It may just be that Orion, though a later work than Egisto, found Cavalli off-form, not inspired by a new librettist who lacked Faustini's talent for dramatic confection. Perhaps Leppard's editing was less fluent (perhaps he actually did less editing than before). Whatever the explanation, the sensation was widely felt that the enterprise was simply not in the same class as its predecessor, though the standard of performance was still superb.


Scottish Opera's Season - 1984/85

Scottish Opera's subscription season 1984-85 consisted of nine operas, including six new productions, one of which was a world premiere. They began with Cavalli's Orion, which received its UK premiere at the Edinburgh Festival before joining the season's repertoire. The other works given were Fidelio(revival), Rigoletto (revival), CapriccioBartered Bride (revival), Barbiere di SivigliaDon GiovanniOrlando and Hedda Gabler (Edward Harper world premiere).

Performance Cast

Diana virgin goddess of the hunt

Anne Howells

First Nymph

Faith Elliott

Second Nymph

Clare Moll

Filotero Orion's companion

Barry Mora

Vulcano god of fire

Willard White

Sterope a Cyclops

Alexander Morrison

Bronte a Cyclops

Norman White

Amor Cupid, son of Venus

Lillian Watson (Aug; Sep)

Rosa Mannion (Oct; Nov, exc Nov 3)

Yvonne Barclay (Nov 3)

Orion the hunter, claiming descent from Neptune

Michael Myers (Exc Sep 27; Oct 24, 27; Nov 22)

Ian Caley (Sep 27; Oct 24, 27; Nov 22)

Amorettino youngest son of Venus

Iain Adam (Exc Oct 24, 30; Nov 3)

David Crumpton (Oct 24, 30; Nov 3)

Venere Venus, goddess of love

Ann Howard (Exc Sep 27; Nov 22)

Angela Hickey (Sep 22; Nov 22)

Aurora goddess of the dawn

Linda Ormiston

Titon a mortal, husband of Aurora

Keith Latham

Apollo the sun god, brother of Diana

Peter Jeffes

Neptune god of the sea

Brian Bannatyne-Scott

Voice of Aeolus controller of the winds

Anne Rodger-Bowen

Jove father of the gods

Donald Stephenson

Performance DatesOrion 1984

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

21 Aug, 19.30 23 Aug, 19.30 25 Aug, 19.30

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

27 Sep, 19.15

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

24 Oct, 19.15 27 Oct, 19.15 30 Oct, 19.15 1 Nov, 19.15 3 Nov, 14.15

Playhouse Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

22 Nov, 19.15

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