Opera Scotland

Lady in White The Lady in White; La Dame Blanche

Music

François-Adrien Boïeldieu (born Rouen, 16 December 1775; died Jarcy, 8 October 1834)

Text

Eugène Scribe (1791-1861)

Source

Novels The Monastery (1820) and Guy Mannering (1815) by Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832).

 

Premières

First performance: Paris (Opéra Comique), 10 December 1825.

First performance in UK: London (Drury Lane), 9 October 1826.

First performance in Scotland: Edinburgh (Theatre Royal), 2 November 1882..

Scottish Opera première: N/A.

 

Background

La Dame Blanche was one of the most successful romantic French operas of its period, prior to the arrival of Meyerbeer, Berlioz, Gounod, Bizet, etc.

 

Main characters

George Brown, an English officer (tenor)

Dickson, a Scottish farmer (tenor)

Jenny, Dickson's wife (soprano)

Gaveston, former steward to the Avenel family (bass)

Anna, his ward (soprano)

 

Plot summary

This is not to be confused with the later detective novel The Woman in White (1860), by Wilkie Collins (1824-89). The setting is Scotland during the Jacobite period. The Avenel's, a family of Jacobites, have fled abroad and their estate is to be sold. George Brown turns out to be the rightful heir, (kidnapped in childhood, given a false name, and having no recollection of the true facts). The Avenel side of the plot, with the supernatural White Lady, is lifted from The Monastery, which has a plot completely unrelated to Guy Mannering, which supplies the main George Brown element of the plot, though most of the detail of that story is filleted out. Anna recognises George as an officer she had once nursed (in Guy Mannering this occurs in India, but that element of Scott is also much simplified).

The Cast

Anna
 ward of Gaveston
Dickson
 a farmer
Gabriel
 a farm servant of Dickson
Gaveston
 former steward of the Lords of Avenel
George
 a young English officer
Jenny
 Dickson's wife
MacIrton
 a district judge
Margaret
 an old servant of the Lords of Avenel

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