Opera Scotland

Violins of Saint-Jacques 1967Sadler's Wells Opera

Read more about the opera Violins of Saint-Jacques

The British-domiciled Australian composer Malcolm Williamson produced several operas during a ten-year period of which Violins was the most successful. It opened at Sadler's Wells in 1966, and was taken on tour the following year. It was also revived after the company moved to the Coliseum. Williamson's musical style was sometimes criticised for its conservatism, which may have inhibited its acceptance by many advocates of new music. However it is undoubtedly approachable and dramatically effective, as when exotic tropical sounds are indicated in the present case.

The subject of Patrick Leigh Fermor's source novel is a fictionalised account of the cataclysmic eruption of Mont Pelée on Martinique in 1902, which killed some 30,000 people. Of the cast of characters, with the exception of the fishermen in the prologue, only one survives.


Sadler's Wells Opera's Glasgow Season - 1967

Sadler's Wells Opera only came to Glasgow in October 1967, but the four week stay was an unusually long one. They gave three performances of a brand new production of The Magic Flute, four of the familiar 1960 Barber of Seville, three of Orpheus in the Underworld (also from 1960) and three of a vintage Samson and Delilah, a staging from the early 'fifties receiving a brief revival. The Cenerentola from 1959 returned for a final visit.  Gluck's Orpheus and Euridice was seen in the unfamiliar version for tenor,  Ernani had a rather controversial staging on its only tour, and Malcolm Williamson's Violins of Saint Jacques proved to be a genuinely popular new work.


The performance schedule was as follows:

Week 1, w/c Monday, 23 October:  Mon 23 Magic Flute;  Tue 24 Barber oSeville;  Wed 25 Orpheus and Euridice;  Thu 26 np;  Fri 27 Orpheus and Euridice;  Sat 28 Magic Flute.

Week 2, w/c Monday, 30 October:  Mon 30 np;  Tue 31 Samson and Delilah;  Wed 1 Nov Barber of Seville; Thu 2 Magic Flute;  Fri 3 Orpheus and Euridice;  Sat 4 Samson and Delilah.

Week 3, w/c Monday, 6 November:  Mon 6 np;  Tue 7 Violins of Saint-Jacques;  Wed 8 Ernani;  Thu 9 m Barber of Seville;  Thu 9 e Cenerentola;  Fri 10 Orpheus in the Underworld;  Sat 11 Ernani.  

Week 4, w/c Monday 13 November:  Mon 13  Cenerentola;  Tue 14 Samson and Delilah;  Wed 15 Orpheus in the Underworld;   Thu 16 Barber of Seville;  Fri 17 Violins of Saint-Jacques;  Sat 18 Orpheus in the Underworld.

Cast details are from a programme in the ENO archive for opening night, and a programme in the Opera Scotland archive for 17 November.

Performance DatesViolins of Saint-Jacques 1967

Map List

King's Theatre, Glasgow | Glasgow

7 Nov, 19.00 17 Nov, 19.00

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