Friedrich Schiller

Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller (1759-1805) ranks as one of the greatest figures in European drama and literature. That Verdi based four of his operas on Schiller's plays is not surprising (I masnadieri, Giovanna d'Arco, Luisa Miller, Don Carlos). Both men were deeply preoccupied with the battle for political freedon, projecting the moral victory of the doomed individual over the power of the immutable State as potent historical drama. Schiller's nobility of theatrical concept perfectly suited the energy and majesty of Verdi's scores. Yet in the English-speaking world Schiller's works are comparatively little known to theatregoers. The dedication of the renowned Glasgow-based Citizens' Company and the inspired decision to present the plays alongside Verdi's operas at the Edinburgh International Festival have gone a long way to remedy this neglect. The fifth play included in this edition was the source fro the opera by Donizetti (Maria Stuarda). Also translated for the Citizens' Company by Robert David MacDonald, Schiller's 'Mary Stuart' is acknowldged masterpiece.