City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Scottish Opera: The Rake’s Progress Review

By Barnaby Miln - Posted on 28 March 2012

Scottish Opera's The Rake's Progress
Show Details
Scottish Opera
The Rake’s Progress by Igor Stravinsky
Trulove (Graeme Broadbent), Anne Trulove (Carolyn Sampson), Tom Rakewell (Edgaras Montvidas), Nick Shadow (Steven Page), Mother Goose (Karen Murray), Baba the Turk (Leah-Marian Jones), Sellem (Colin Judson), Keeper of the Madhouse (Ross McInroy,) Conductor (Siân Edwards), Director (David McVicar), Designer (John Macfarlane), Lighting (David Finn), Choreographer (Andrew George)
Running time: 

Anne Trulove and Tom Rakewell are lovers but her father thinks Tom is a wastrel and finds a job for him in London. But he turns this down and is soon under the influence of a very convincing devil. He has the time of his life in bawdy eighteenth century London and there are great scenes of brothel life with a larger than life Mother Goose on her throne.

Ann Trulove comes to London looking for Tom Rakewell and finds his possessions in the process of being auctioned off. He warns her away but cannot hide her from his wife, the extraordinary and bearded Baba the Turk. But domestic life with her and their two monkeys goes wrong and before long the devil is back for his payment.

It may have been premiered in 1951 but the music is Stravinsky’s take on Mozart, the costumes are rich and all the characters really do match the parts they play. The stage set does what is intended - neither too simple nor too complicated.

It is sung in English with English supertitles too, and each voice was clear and distinct with some lovely balanced duets.  David McVicar lives up to his reputation as a great Scottish director.

Hard to find fault, and strongly recommended.

Performance reviewed: Tuesday 27 March 2012. 

Further performances on Thursday 29 March 2011 7.15pm and Saturday 31 March 2012.