Opera Scotland

Iris I

Music

Pietro Mascagni (born Livorno, 7 December 1863; died Rome, 2 August 1945)

Text

Luigi Illica (born Piacenza, 9 May 1857; died Piacenza, 16 December 1919)

 

Premieres

First Performance: Rome (Teatro Costanzi), 22 November 1898.

First Performance in UK: London (Covent Garden), 8 July 1919.

First Performance in Scotland: Glasgow (City Halls), 1 December 2019.

 

Background

Things Japanese were very fashionable the world over during the last decades of the nineteenth century. In Britain the preference was generally for lighter opera and operetta, including The Mikado, The Geisha and The Mousmé. In Italy, Mascagni's Iris was a great deal more serious, with a plot of unrelieved gloom. When Madama Butterfly appeared five years later Iris was quickly relegated to near obscurity.

 

Characters

Iris, an innocent girl (soprano).

Il Cieco (the blind man), Iris's father (bass)

Osaka, a rich but dissolute young man (tenor)

Kyoto, a brothel keeper (baritone)

The Cast

Iris
 
Kyoto
 a brothel keeper
Osaka
 a rich and dissolute young man

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