Opera Scotland

Così fan tutte 1965Bavarian State Opera, Munich

Read more about the opera Così fan tutte

This group of performances seems strange, with benefit of hindsight, because the great Scottish Opera production followed a couple of years later, and transformed opinions of the work itself.

This version was performed in what was the traditional German style of the time, heavily-cut, sung in German, and played in a broadly humorous style that would now seem woefully inadequate.

And yet on paper both casts look very good.  The first team boasted the wonderful pairing of Fritz Wunderlich and Claire Watson.  The alternate Fiordiligi, Leonore Kirschstein clearly made an impression, as she was brought back to Edinburgh to sing Sieglinde with Scottish Opera in 1971.

The American tenor Donald Grobe spent his entire career in Germany, and came to Edinburgh two more times, both with the Deutsche Oper,  Berlin.  Hanny Steffek was a delightful performer, here mainly as a charismatic Christine in Intermezzo.  However it was only two years since she had recorded Despina with a starry cast and the Philharmonia conducted by Karl Böhm.


Opera at the Edinburgh Festival 1965

The 1965 Edinburgh Festival presented an interesting group of five works. The foreign guest company was the Bavarian State Opera, from Munich, making its only Edinburgh appearance - their own Munich Festival tends to run around the same same time. The two pieces they brought were a beautifully cast, if conventional, staging of Così fan tutte, and the British premiere of a then little-known Strauss comedy, Intermezzo. The English Opera Group brought Albert Herring, which was just returning to the repertoire. The Festival itself mounted two operas in conjunction with the Holland Festival which was also run by Festival director Peter Diamand. These were a staging of Don Giovanni and a delightful introduction to Haydn opera, with Le pescatrici.

Performance Cast

Ferrando a young army officer

Fritz Wunderlich (Sep 6, 8)

Donald Grobe (Sep 7, 10)

Guglielmo another officer, Ferrando's friend

Raimund Grumbach

Don Alfonso a middle-aged bachelor

Keith Engen (Sep 6, 8)

Karl Christian Kohn (Sep 7, 10)

Fiordiligi a young lady from Ferrara, engaged to Guglielmo

Claire Watson (Sep 6, 8)

Leonore Kirschstein (Sep 7, 10)

Dorabella Fiordiligi's sister, engaged to Ferrando

Hertha Töpper (Sep 6, 8)

Lilian Benningsen (Sep 7, 10)

Despina maidservant to the sisters

Hanny Steffek (Sep 6, 8)

Gertrud Freedmann (Sep 7, 10)

Performance DatesCosì fan tutte 1965

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

6 Sep, 19.00 7 Sep, 19.00 8 Sep, 19.00 10 Sep, 19.00

© Copyright Opera Scotland 2024

Site by SiteBuddha