Opera Scotland

Don Giovanni 1951Glyndebourne Opera

Read more about the opera Don Giovanni

The Glyndebourne Opera's Edinburgh Festival season of 1951 followed a pattern similar to that of 1949 - a popular Mozart masterpiece, this time Don Giovanni, paired with an unfamiliar, and much undervalued, Verdi melodrama, La forza del destino.

When the Festival prospectus was issued, John Pritchard, the company's young Chorus Master, was scheduled to conduct three performances, with Principal Conductor Fritz Busch down to conduct six performances of Mozart and all the Verdi. By the time the programme was printed, Pritchard had been allocated the entire run of Don Giovanni.

These performances were slightly disrupted by illness, though this did not affact the debut of Geraint Evans, admittedly in the small role of Masetto. The superb Canadian lyric tenor Léopold Simoneau was on excellent form as Ottavio. Fortunately his wife, soprano Pierette Alarie, was accompanying him on the visit, so was available to take over as Zerlina when a cover was required - Roxane Houston was herself a young member of the chorus. Owen Brannigan, who substituted as Leporello, was in Edinburgh as a member of the Forza cast.

Familiar names among the choristers include soprano Joan Stuart; contraltos Pamela Bowden and Helen Watts; tenors Emile Belcourt, John Carolan, Brychan Powell and Alexander Young with basses David Kelly, Jeffrey Skitch and Dennis Wicks. The young assistants on the production staff included both Peter Ebert and Anthony Besch.

Cast details are from a programme in the OperaScotland collection - dates of the various substitutions to be confirmed.

Performance Cast

Leporello Giovanni's servant

Alois Pernerstorfer

Owen Brannigan

Don Giovanni a young nobleman

Mario Petri

Donna Anna the Commendatore's daughter

Hilde Zadek

Commendatore an elderly aristocrat

Bruce Dargavel

Don Ottavio engaged to Anna

Léopold Simoneau

Donna Elvira a lady from Burgos

Dorothy MacNeil

Zerlina a peasant girl

Genevieve Warner

Roxane Houston

Pierette Alarie

Masetto a peasant, engaged to Zerlina

Geraint Evans

Performance DatesDon Giovanni 1951

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

21 Aug, 19.00 23 Aug, 19.00 25 Aug, 19.00 27 Aug, 19.00 29 Aug, 19.00 31 Aug, 19.00 4 Sep, 19.00 6 Sep, 19.00 8 Sep, 19.00

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