Fergus fails opera

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After the end of Jonathan Mills’s reign as Festival director, in which he reduced the role of opera so much that a leading opera critic said, “Edinburgh can no longer be regarded as a ­festival of international repute as far as opera is concerned”, I had hoped that the new director might bring a new era for opera.

Well he has, he has made it worse, a difficult feat after Mr Mills’s reign but Fergus Linehan has done it.

Only one fully staged opera, Mozart’s The Magic Flute, but the production, far from new, is a German conceptual piece with cartoon backdrops which trailed around the world to mixed reviews. The other operatic performances are HMS Pinafore and Figaro concerts; welcome but hardly Festival quality.

I acknowledge it is Mr Linehan’s first Festival programme and we can but hope that next year, as far as opera is concerned, he will do better.

Hugh Kerr

Wharton Square

Edinburgh