Opera Scotland

Freischütz 1952Hamburg State Opera

Read more about the opera Freischütz

Up until 1952, the operatic element of the Edinburgh Festival was provided by Glyndebourne, the organisation which had, after all, conceived the idea of a summer festival in the Scottish capital.  The first foreign company to visit was the Hamburg State Opera.  Their visit lasted the full three weeks of the 1952 Festival, and allowed them to show off an astonishing programme of six important operas.

Weber's masterpiece, Der Freischütz,  was very popular around Europe throughout the nineteenth century.  However by the mid-twentieth it had become a rarity, at least in Britain.  The Magic Flute was largely ignored in the UK through the nineteenth, but in the twentieth became universally accepted at last.

Mathis der Maler was known from a concert performance conducted by Sir Adrian Boult in London just before the war, but was here receiving its UK stage premiere.

Of the importance of the other operas there could be no question, with wonderful works by Beethoven, Wagner and Strauss accepted into the universal operatic canon essentially from their first performances. 


Hamburg State Opera in Edinburgh - 1952

The Hamburg State Opera was the first foreign opera company to visit the Edinburgh Festival, and brought six productions.  There were five universally accepted classics of the German operatic repertoire -   Fidelio Die Zauberflöte,  Der Freischütz,  Die Meistersinger, and  Der Rosenkavalier, as well as the British stage premiere of Hindemith's  Mathis der Maler.

Many of the leading singers were famous at the time and remained well known through the gradually widening availability of many recordings from Bayreuth and other sources.

The performance schedule for the Hamburg visit was as follows:

First Week, commencing 18 Aug:  Mon 18 Fidelio;  Tue 19 Zauberflöte;  Wed 20 Fidelio;  Thu 21 Zauberflöte;  Fri 22 Freischütz;  Sat 23 Zauberflöte.

Second Week, commencing 25 Aug:  Mon 25 Freischütz;  Tue 26 Zauberflöte;  Wed 27 Freischütz;  Thu 28 Rosenkavalier;  Fri 29 Mathis der Maler;  Sat 30 Rosenkavalier.

Third Week, commencing 1 Sep:  Mon 1 Fidelio;   Tue 2 Mathis der Maler;  Wed 3 Meistersinger;  Thu 4 Fidelio;  Fri 5 Rosenkavalier;  Sat 6 Meistersinger.

Performance Cast

Max a forester

Peter Anders

Caspar a forester

Caspar Bröcheler

Agathe Cuno's daughter

Elisabeth Grümmer (Aug 22, 27)

Clara Ebers (Aug 25)

Ännchen Agathe's cousin

Anneliese Rothenberger

Performance DatesFreischütz 1952

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

22 Aug, 19.00 25 Aug, 19.00 27 Aug, 19.00

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