Opera Scotland

Cavalleria Rusticana 1892Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Cavalleria Rusticana

The spring tour to Glasgow and Edinburgh saw the introduction to Scotland of Cavalleria Rusticana. The cast was a starry one, led by Alice Esty and Charles Hedmondt, backed up by Josephine Yorke and Leslie Crotty. So great was its success that it was scheduled for a large number of performances on the autumn tour as well. By that time, Crotty was no longer available, he and his wife, Georgina Burns, having established their own company to tour a lavish production of Rossini's Cinderella. The first Edinburgh performance, scheduled for 10 May, was pre-empted by an additional performance on Monday 9th - Zélie de Lussan had a cold and was unable to sing in Daughter of the Regiment. An abbreviated version of The Elixir of Love was given to start the evening.

The first week of the Carl Rosa company's 1892 autumn visit to Scotland saw them venture north to pay a first visit to the new theatre in Dundee.  It developed into something of a public relations disaster for the company, since after the opening performance, with the Scottish premiere of Djamileh followed by Cavalleria, the management were forced to improvise.

On the Tuesday, the performance was cancelled because the company had been commanded to Balmoral to perform The Daughter of the Regiment before Queen Victoria. The train journey back to Dundee was fraught, and Wednesday's performance of Aïda was replaced, with no advance announcement, by a repeat of Cavalleria. Zélie de Lussan, the Marie, had once more caught a cold and her Thursday matinee of Daughter of the Regiment was replaced (again with no advance warning) by Maritana. Faust and Carmen went as planned on Thursday and Friday. Saturday matinee was again Cavalleria, with the Scottish premiere of L'Amico Fritz coming in on Saturday evening. The local press made much of the confusion and ill-feeling that resulted from the wholesale alterations to the programme. In 1893 they travelled to Balmoral without stopping in Dundee.

Before the arrival of Pagliacci, companies seem to have had difficulty in selecting a make-weight to accompany Cavalleria. Of the three Dundee performances, the first was preceded by Djamileh, the second by Act 2 of Maritana and the third by Act 2 of Faust. These last two were not seen as satisfactory, given that the complete operas were both done during the week. In Glasgow, as well as a couple of performances of Djamileh, the chosen curtain-raisers included an abbreviated version of L'elisir d'amore (entitled Adina), and a single act (either second or third) from The Bohemian Girl. Whatever its pairing, the number of performances given of such a new work is testament to its astonishing success.

Performance Cast

Santuzza a village girl

Alice Esty (Apr 26; May 9)

Effie Stewart (May 10)

Ella Russell (Nov 7, 9, 12; Dec 5)

Mamma Lucia the innkeeper, Turiddu’s mother

Josephine Yorke (Apr 26; May 9)

Luise Meisslinger (Nov 7, 9, 12; Dec 5)

Alfio the village carter

Leslie Crotty (Apr 26; May 9)

Alec Marsh (Nov 7; Dec 5)

Max Eugene (Nov 9, 21, 23, 26)

Turiddu a young soldier

Charles Hedmondt (Apr 26; May 9, 10; Nov 9, 23; Dec 5)

Barton McGuckin (Nov 7, 21, 26)

Lola Alfio’s wife

Miss M Ormerod (Apr 26; May 9)

Minnie Hunt (Nov 7, 9; Dec 5)

Performance DatesCavalleria Rusticana 1892

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

26 Apr, 19.15 30 Apr, 14.00 4 May, 19.15 7 May, 19.00 14 Nov, 19.15 18 Nov, 19.15 19 Nov, 14.00 21 Nov, 19.15 23 Nov, 19.15 26 Nov, 19.00

Royal Lyceum Theatre | Edinburgh

9 May, 19.30 10 May, 19.30 13 May, 19.30 17 May, 19.30 19 May, 19.30 28 Nov, 19.30 3 Dec, 14.00 5 Dec, 19.30 10 Dec, 14.00

Her Majesty's Theatre, Dundee | Dundee

7 Nov, 19.15 9 Nov, 19.15 12 Nov, 14.00

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