Opera Scotland

Nozze di Figaro 1968Scottish Opera

Read more about the opera Marriage of Figaro

After the glorious success of the 1967 Così fan tutte, it was inevitable that the same production team would reassemble to mount Figaro. It was almost predictable that the enterprise would seem a slight anticlimax because of the greater sense of anticipation that was inevitable. By any other yardstick this would have seemed a very good attempt, and it came into its own when it was revived in 1972.

The team of Anthony Besch and John Stoddart continued to work with Scottish Opera for several years, always with great success, but their British stagings of Mozart would in future be in London, either at the Coliseum (The Magic Flute and Don Giovanni) or at Covent Garden (La Clemenza di Tito).

Never mind, this 1968 run of eleven performances, with a further two in September, during the company's first visit to Newcastle, and then three in December, during a Christmas week in Edinburgh, had many things to treasure.

Alexander Gibson had conducted lots of performances of Figaro on the Sadler's Wells tours a decade before.  Catherine Gayer, an American soprano resident in Berlin, and with a reputation for performing the most difficult of twentieth century music, made her local debut as a mercurial Susanna.  Patricia Hay also made her company debut, singing a composer whose music would be central to her career.  Johanna Peters had already included Marcellina in her repertoire at Glyndebourne.  Catherine Wilson, Michael Maurel and the others were company stalwarts by this time.


Scottish Opera Summary

The spring tour contained, in addition to the new Figaro, revivals of Boris Godunov and Madama Butterfly. However the composite programme for the tour was clearly designed to emphasise the second new production - Götterdämmerung.

The Edinburgh Festival concentrated on Britten and Schubert.  The company's contribution was a new producton of Peter Grimes, and they also made a significant contribution to the Festival's concert performance of Alfonso und Estrella.  For the first tme, Scottish Opera also produced a late night show on the Fringe - a first attempt at a baroque work in Monteverdi's Il ballo delle ingrate.

Autumn saw the company introduce Newcastle to its regular circuit - a venue that would be vital to the company's fortunes until it was supplanted by the expanding Opera North some twenty-five years later.

Finally, there was a pre-Christmas season in Edinburgh for the first time.


Scottish Opera's Seventh Season - 1968

The ten operas performed were by Monteverdi (Ballo delle ingrate);  Mozart (Marriage of Figaro);  Wagner (Götterdämmerung);   Musorgsky (Boris Godunov);   Sullivan (Gondoliers);   Puccini (Madam Butterfly); Stravnsky (Soldier's Tale);  Britten (Peter GrimesAlbert Herring);  Orr (Full Circle).

Full Ciircle was given in Edinburgh as a late night performance (10:00pm) after some performances of The Gondoliers,  while in Perth it formed a double bill with The Solder's Tale.

The schedule was as follows:

Perth, w/c Mon 8 Apr:  Tue 9 Marriage of Figaro;  Wed 10 Full Circle & Soldier's Tale;  Thu 11 Marriage of Figaro;  Fri 12 Full Circle & Soldier's Tale;  Sat 13 Full Circle & Soldier's Tale.

Glasgow, w/c Mon 29 Apr:  Fri 3 May Boris Godunov;  Sat 4 Marriage of Figaro

Glasgow, w/c Mon 6 May;  Fri 10 Boris Godunov; Sat 11 Madama Butterfly.

Glasgow, w/c Mon 13 May:  Tue 14 Madama Butterfly;  Wed 15 Götterdämmerung;  Thu 16 Marriage of Figaro;  Fri 17 m Marriage of Figaro; Fri 17 e  Madama Butterfly;  Sat 18 Götterdämmerung.

Aberdeen, w/c Mon 20 May:  Tue 21 Götterdämmerung;  Wed 22 Marriage of Fgaro;  Thu 23 Madama Butterfly;  Fri 24 Marriage of Figaro;  Sat 25 Boris Godunov.

Edinburgh, w/c Mon 27 May:  Tue 28 Boris Godunov;  Wed 29 Madama Butterfly;  Thu 30 Marriage of Figaro;  Fri 31 m Marriage of Figaro;  Fri 31 e Madama Butterfly; Sat 1 Jun Boris Godunov.

Edinburgh, w/c Mon 3 Jun  Tue 4 Götterdämmerung;  Wed 5 Boris Godunov; Thu 6 Marriage of Figaro;  Fri 7 Götterdämmerung;  Sat 8 Marriage of Figaro.

Florence, w/c Mon 17 Jun:  Wed 19 Albert Herring;  Thu 20 Albert Herring.

Edinburgh Festival: 19, 21, 23, 26 Aug Peter Grimes.

Edinburgh Festival (Fringe): 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 Aug (late) Il ballo delle ingrate.

Newcastlle, w/c Mon 9 Sep: Tue 10 Peter Grimes;  Thu 12 Marriage of Fiigaro;  Fri 13 Marriage of Figaro;  Sat 14 Peter Grimes.

Edinburgh, w/c Mon 9 Dec:  Thu 12 Gondoliers;  Sat 14 Marriage of Figaro.

Edinburgh, w/v Mon 16 Dec:  Mon 16 e Gondoliers; Mon 16 (late) Full Circle;  Tue 17 Marriage of Figaro; Wed 18 Gondoliers; Thu 19 Gondoliers;  Fri 20 Marriage of Figaro;  Sat 21 e Gondoliers;  Sat 21 (late) Full Circle.

Performance Cast

Figaro the Count's valet

Michael Maurel

Susanna the Countess's maid

Catherine Gayer (Apr, May, Jun)

Lee Venora (Sep 12, 13)

Joan Summers (Dec 14, 17, 20)

Bartolo a doctor, the Countess's former guardian

William McCue (Exc Sep 12, 13)

Richard Van Allan (Sep 12, 13)

Marcellina Bartolo's housekeeper

Johanna Peters (15 perfs)

Janice Chapman (1 perf Dec)

Cherubino the Count's page

Josephine McQueen (May 16, 22, 30; Jun 6)

Patricia Hay (Apr 9, 11; May 4, 24; Jun 8; Sep 12, 13)

Count Almaviva a Spanish grandee

Peter van der Bilt (Exc Sep 12, 13; Dec 20)

Ronald Morrison (Sep 12, 13; Dec 20)

Don Basilio a priest and music master

Kevin Miller

Countess Almaviva

Catherine Wilson

Antonio a gardener, Susanna's uncle

John Lawson Graham

Don Curzio a lawyer

John Robertson

Barbarina daugher of Antonio

Ann Baird

First Peasant Girl

Margaret Leigh-Hamilton

Second Peasant Girl

Karen Russell

Performance DatesNozze di Figaro 1968

Map List

Perth Theatre | Perth

9 Apr, 19.00 9 Apr, 19.00 11 Apr, 19.00

King's Theatre, Glasgow | Glasgow

4 May, 19.00 16 May, 19.00 17 May, 14.00

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

22 May, 19.00 24 May, 19.00

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

30 May, 19.00 31 May, 14.00 6 Jun, 19.00 8 Jun, 19.00 14 Dec, 19.00 17 Dec, 19.00 20 Dec, 19.00

Theatre Royal, Newcastle | Newcastle-upon-Tyne

12 Sep, 19.00 13 Sep, 19.00

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