In response to Michael Tumelty's question was to why the Usher Hall audience for Karita Mattila's recent recital was so meagre (review, the Herald, September 2), last evening we, after previously attending every Usher Hall concert since opening night, were â€“ like his colleague Conrad Wilson â€“ attending the Festival Theatre.
There we were experiencing the marvellous Mariinsky company’s superb performance of Richard Strauss’s rarely-performed Die Frau Ohne schatten under the superb conductor– and as of last evening the honorary president of the Edinburgh International Festival – Valery Gergiev.
One cannot alas be in two places at the same time, thus Karita Mattilla and the exemplary Malcolm Martineau had to be missed. Unfortunately our intent to move on to the Usher Hall for the Bamberg late concert was also confounded as the opera over-ran estimates by more than 30 minutes, which was further extended by the charming, and arguably historic, ceremony marking Gergiev’s new appointment. In a feast of perfection such clashes could perhaps be overcome for those of us who are Usher Hall habitués during the International Festival by at least one opera matinee performance – this did occur with the gorgeous The Revenge of Prince Zi Dan by the Shanghai Peking Opera Troupe.
Apartment 1, 19 Kinnear Road, Inverleith, Edinburgh.
PERHAPS the audience was so sparse for Karita Mattila’s recent recital because Edinburgh concert-goers simply do not know just how good she is.
However, anyone who has listened to her performance of Abscheulicher from Beethoven’s Fidelio could be forgiven for thinking that she is the greatest singer of all time and wondering why she should not be relocated to the Murrayfield stadium.
20 Pentland Terrace,
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