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.