Opera Scotland

Nozze di Figaro 1986Scottish Opera

Read more about the opera Marriage of Figaro

During John Cox's period with Scottish Opera it was assumed that he would direct some of the major Mozart operas. It was also no surprise that he followed his recent practice of collaborating with prominent visual artists at Glyndebourne, including David Hockney (The Rake's ProgressDie Zauberflöte)  and Erté (Der Rosenkavalier). In the case of John Byrne he found not just a reputable painter but a successful playwright who had experience as a theatrical designer. The result was a generally successful staging which stayed in the repertoire for a number of years, though revivals were sometimes less carefully cast than this opening series.

The only jarring feature in the designs was the scarlet negligée worn by the Countess in her boudoir - this was toned down on revival. An expert Mozartian led proceedings in the pit.  The production was sung in Italian - Scottish Opera has no fixed policy on language, generally reserving the right, even in comedy, to use the original when an international cast is available.

The two female leads were taken by Scottish sopranos with thriving international careers. They gave beautifully characterised interpretations, stylishly sung. Jonathan Summers (a thoroughly dangerous Count) and Diana Montague (a wonderfully boyish page) made successful returns. Bill McCue repeated a role he had done for the past eighteen years, and Catherine Wilson, having sung Cherubino in her youth and the Countess in her prime, found a final role to take on towards the end of her career. Rosa Mannion made yet another excellent Barbarina.


Scottish Opera's Season 1985/86

Scottish Opera's 1985/86 season consisted of ten operas. The company's new productions ranged through Mozart (The Marriage of Figaro), Weber (Oberon), Verdi (Il trovatore), Offenbach (La Vie parisienne) and Weill (The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny). The previous season's Orlando had further performances outside Glasgow, while the revivals were The Magic FluteWertherTosca and The Turn of the Screw.  For Christmas there was a revival of Fiddler on the Roof.  In the spring there was a medium-scale tour of Tales of Hoffmann. The small-scall Opera-Go-Round tour in the autumn took the form of a new (and very different) staging of Tosca.

Performance Cast

Figaro the Count's valet

Roderick Earle

Susanna the Countess's maid

Isobel Buchanan

Bartolo a doctor, the Countess's former guardian

William McCue

Marcellina Bartolo's housekeeper

Catherine Wilson

Cherubino the Count's page

Diana Montague

Count Almaviva

Jonathan Summers

Don Basilio a priest and music master

Hugh Hetherington

Countess Almaviva

Margaret Marshall

Antonio a gardener, Susanna's uncle

David Morrison

Don Curzio a lawyer

John Brackenridge

Barbarina daugher of Antonio

Rosa Mannion

First Peasant Girl

Margaret Preece

Second Peasant Girl

Thora Ker

Performance DatesNozze di Figaro 1986

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

30 Apr, 19.15 3 May, 14.15 10 May, 19.15 13 May, 19.15 15 May, 19.15

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

21 May, 19.15 24 May, 19.15

Empire Theatre, Liverpool | Liverpool

28 May, 19.15 31 May, 19.15

Theatre Royal, Newcastle | Newcastle-upon-Tyne

3 Jun, 19.15 5 Jun, 19.15

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