Opera Scotland

Trovatore 1874Her Majesty's Italian Opera

Read more about the opera Trovatore

This twelve night season of starrily-cast Italian opera is advertised in an unusual fashion.  No company is mentioned in the expected form of heading in the advertisements, the season being attributed to Messrs Glover and Francis. The orchestra and chorus are described as 'strengthened by Members of Her Majesty's Opera and number Eighty Performers'. The theatre did employ its own regular band and chorus who would take part, having to study all these works, several completely unfamiliar, with great speed. The Ballet was also from Her Majesty's Opera. That indicates a connection with the Mapleson organisation. While the Colonel is mentioned nowhere, there can be no doubt that he was in charge. The stage manager for the tour is a youthful 'Mr A Harris', Mapleson's assistant, and some years before he became Sir Augustus. However the company's London base, at this time, was the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, where Balfe's final, and posthumous, opera had received its premiere a few months before.

The singers are a starry list. The most famous at the time were Madame Trebelli-Bettini, an excellent mezzo-soprano, and the great soprano Therese Tietjens (or Titiens as she was usually styled, at least in Britain, where she had made her home). Italo Campanini had a notable career, just getting off the ground, though on this visit he was ill and cancelled all his performances including Trovatore and Martha - all except for the new Balfe piece. The singer who would crown all of their achievements appeared here, in the year of his debut, as a twenty-four-year-old Polish baritone, under the name Signor di Reschi. Within a few years, after further training. Jean De Reszke would become one of the greatest tenors of all time.

This season began with Trovatore, on the first Monday, followed by Auber's Crown Diamonds, Balfe's Talismano, Figaro, Martha, and a repeat of Talismano on Saturday night. The second week kicked off with a performance of Les Huguenots, followed by Don Giovanni, The Magic Flute, Il Talismano, Faust, and, on the final Saturday, a fourth performance of Talismano, whose audience had built to a point where the third evening was packed out with many people turned away.

Casts are as advertised, unless press reports confirm changes - for instance for Trovatore, not only did the advertised Manrico, Italo Campanini, withdraw, but the advertised Ferrando, the Scottish bass Campobello, was also replaced.

Performance Cast

Ferrando captain of Di Luna's guard

Signor Costa

Inez confidante of Leonora

Mathilde Bauermeister

Leonora a Duchess, lady-in-waiting to the Princess of Aragon

Therese Tietjens

Count di Luna a young noble of Aragon

Signor Galassi

Manrico a chieftain under the Prince of Biscay

Signor Brignoli

Azucena a Biscayan gypsy woman

Zélia Trebelli-Bettini

Old Gypsy

Signor Casaboni

Ruiz a soldier in Manrico's service

Antonio Rinaldini

Performance DatesTrovatore 1874

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

26 Oct, 00.00

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