Opera Scotland

Carmen 1978Edinburgh Festival Opera

Read more about the opera Carmen

1978 marked Peter Diamand's final Festival, and many of his old colleagues returned for the occasion. The opera programme seems astonishingly generous by more recent standards. The previous season's 'house' staging of Carmen was repeated. Scottish Opera revived its superb Pelléas et Mélisande, while the Frankfurt Opera brought a good cast in a staging of Kátya Kabanová. There was also a first visit by the Zurich Opera, bringing their cycle of the three full-length Monteverdi operas, L'Orfeo, L'incoronazione di Poppea and Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria.

This memorable production of Carmen was still one of the centrepieces, even without Domingo's justly famous interpretation of José. One critic said, after many superlatives, that it was also the most beautiful Carmen he had seen '(I do not mean pretty'). The entire staging still worked very effectively, with the gradual deepening of the colours as the mood grew more serious.

Pedro Lavirgen was not a familiar name in Britain, but had a major career on the continent. Berganza was still on top form, with Tom Krause repeating his smugly arrogant Escamillo.  Ileana Cotrubas was a lovely Micaëla, with Yvonne Kenny, last year's Frasquita, also singing the part at some performances.  It did still seem slightly odd that Zuniga should be the only role taken by a native French speaker.

Performance Cast

Moralès a corporal of dragoons

Stuart Harling

Micaëla a peasant girl

Ileana Cotrubas

Yvonne Kenny

Don José a corporal of dragoons

Pedro Lavirgen

Zuniga a lieutenant of dragoons

Jean Lainé

Carmen a gypsy

Teresa Berganza

Frasquita a gypsy, Carmen’s friend

Patricia Greig

Mercédès a gypsy, Carmen’s friend

Susan Daniel

Lillas Pastia an innkeeper

George Main

Escamillo a toreador

Tom Krause

Dancaïre a smuggler

Gordon Sandison

Remendado a smuggler

Geoffrey Pogson


Jean Lainé


Shirley Thomas


Tano Rea

Performance DatesCarmen 1978

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

21 Aug, 19.30 24 Aug, 19.30 27 Aug, 19.30 30 Aug, 19.30 2 Sep, 19.30

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