Opera Scotland

Trovatore 1986Scottish Opera

Read more about the opera Trovatore

Il Trovatore was a fixture in the repertoire of the Carl Rosa company throughout its long history, and it sometimes appeared in the Sadler's Wells touring schedule as well.  It was therefore seen as a familiar old warhorse that was not urgently required, and it took Scottish Opera a quarter of a century to get round to staging it.

This production was imported from Opera North, where it had originally been directed by the Romanian Andrei Serban, a director whose theatre work had been successful at the Edinburgh Festival (an American production of Sganarelle in 1982). His operatic work in Britain was mainly with Welsh National (Eugene Onegin, I puritani and Norma). At Covent Garden he directed an excellent Turandot and a rather less successful Fidelio. This Trovatore was an interesting concept updated to the era of the Spanish Civil War, and it worked remarkably well. The gypsy camp was changed to a railway station (the tracks became anvils) with glowing braziers instead of fires. Luna being a supporter of the Franco tendency made him an immediately identifiable and convincing villain.

Graham Vick had assisted Serban in Leeds, so was presumably in sympathy with the basic idea, though most of the rest of the cast was new. Graeme Jenkins worked with Scottish Opera for several seasons before he moved to the USA, and his Verdi conducting was idiomatic. The most notable member of the cast had also featured prominently in Leeds - the New Zealand mezzo Patricia Payne, as Azucena. Her imposing physical and vocal presence allowed her to dominate the stage whenever she was on it.

Janice Cairns, Jacek Strauch and Stephen Richardson were all fine in their prominent roles. The Manrico, a new Australian, had been struggling with his vocal health early in the run, and at the Saturday matinee was replaced by Alexander Morrison. A veteran whose work with the company went back fifteen years, starting as a light lyric tenor, he now emerged from the chorus to display a powerfully effective dramatic voice.


Scottish Opera's Season 1985/86

Scottish Opera's 1985/86 season consisted of ten operas. The company's new productions ranged through Mozart (The Marriage of Figaro), Weber (Oberon), Verdi (Il trovatore), Offenbach (La Vie parisienne) and Weill (The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny). The previous season's Orlando had further performances outside Glasgow, while the revivals were The Magic FluteWertherTosca and The Turn of the Screw.  For Christmas there was a revival of Fiddler on the Roof.  In the spring there was a medium-scale tour of Tales of Hoffmann. The small-scall Opera-Go-Round tour in the autumn took the form of a new (and very different) staging of Tosca.

Performance Cast

Ferrando captain of Di Luna's guard

Geoffrey Moses (Exc Mar 6)

Stephen Richardson (Mar 6)

Inez confidante of Leonora

Carol Rowlands

Leonora a Duchess, lady-in-waiting to the Princess of Aragon

Janice Cairns

Count di Luna a young noble of Aragon

Jacek Strauch

Manrico a chieftain under the Prince of Biscay

Angelo Marenzi (Exc Feb 1)

Alexander Morrison (Feb 1)

Azucena a Biscayan gypsy woman

Patricia Payne

Old Gypsy

David Morrison


Peter Richfield

Ruiz a soldier in Manrico's service

Declan McCusker

Performance DatesTrovatore 1986

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

22 Jan, 19.15 25 Jan, 19.15 28 Jan, 19.15 1 Feb, 14.15 6 Mar, 19.15

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

11 Mar, 19.15 14 Mar, 19.15

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

18 Mar, 19.15 21 Mar, 19.15

Theatre Royal, Newcastle | Newcastle-upon-Tyne

1 Apr, 19.15 4 Apr, 19.15

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