Opera Scotland

Ethelinda

Music

Mildred Marion Jessup (born 6 October 1868; died 1897)

Text

Augustus E Jessup


Premieres

First Performance: Florence (Teatro della Pergola), April 1894.

First Performance in UK (excerpts): Glamis (Castle Drawing Room), 6 April 2019.

 

Background

In 1847, one of the greatest of Verdi's early operas, his wonderful adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth, received its premiere at the intimate Teatro della Pergola in Florence - a building that survives to this day. How appropriate then that it should, nearly a half-century later, also be the venue for a performance of an ambitious 3-act opera composed by a resident of Glamis Castle.

However, any Italians in the audience might be excused for their ignorance of this fact. The composer was initially anonymous, then identified simply as one 'Mr Marion'. Only when the work had been received with compliments was it revealed that the composer was one Lady Mildred Jessup and the librettist her husband. Furthermore, her maiden name, Lady Mildred Bowes-Lyon, showed her to be the second daughter of the Earl and Countess of Strathmore.

She died very young, in 1897, so never met her niece, who became Queen in 1937 and is known to us as HRH Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother (1900-2002).

The Cast

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