Opera Scotland

Puritani 1846Mr Calcraft's Italian Opera Company

Read more about the opera Puritani

This Puritani cast is as advertised in the Caledonian Mercury of Thursday 24 September.  The authorities generally describe Fornasari as a bass, and here he is seen in the part of Giorgio, a bass role, while the character of Riccardo, which he might have been expected to sing, after his performance in the baritone role of Enrico in Lucia, is ascribed to the less well-known Ciabatta, who seems to have been equally versatile.

Glasgow saw six opera performances at the Theatre Royal, Dunlop Street, and Edinburgh five, at the Theatre Royal.  The sixth event in Edinburgh was a concert of operatic excerpts in the new Music Hall on George Street on Sunday afternoon. (For details of the concert see the Puritani note).  The repertoire consisted of three operas by Bellini (La sonnambulaNorma, I puritani) and two by Donizetti (Lucia di LammermoorBelisario).  The last pair were receiving their Scottish premieres, and Belisario, an excellent work that has enjoyed some recent revivals, has not been seen here since.  The other four works remained popular for many decades, and are now accepted as elements of the standard repertoire.

The Edinburgh visit concluded with Norma on Saturday 26th, preceded by I puritani on the Thursday evening.  This gave the performers the scope to put on a concert on the Friday afternoon the 25th.  All five principals sang in a mixed programme that introduced Edinburgh audiences to several pieces by Verdi.  The concert took place at 2.00pm in the new Music Hall, round the corner from the Theatre Royal, on George Street.

The afternoon concert

This interesting concert programme began with Corbari and Marras in the duet for Sara and Robert from Donizetti's Roberto Devereux. Ciabatta then sang an unspecified Romance by Schubert.  Castellan and Fornasari followed this with 'Far calzette?', a comic duet by Mosca.  The first group ended with the incongruous sounds of a quartet La trinità by Palestrina.  The first half then concluded with three complete novelties from Verdi's fourth opera, I Lombardi.  The 'Gran Coro dei Crociati' was adapted for the quintet of principals, Castellan, Corbari, Marras, Ciabatta and Fornasari.  Signor Marras then sang the tenor's aria 'La mia letizia infondere' before joining Castellan and Fornasari in the wonderful trio 'Qual voluttà trascorrere'.

After the interval, there were three more pieces by Donizetti, including an impressive duet for the two female voices from Ugo, Conte di Parigi.  After the tenor-baritone-bass trio from Rossini's William Tell, Castellan then sang an aria by Sir Julius Benedict.  The climax of the afternoon came with three extracts from another Verdi opera, entitled Nino.  This was in fact an adaptation of the now-famous Nabucco, which in Britain in those days had to be performed in a non-Biblical disguise.  Ciabatta kicked off with the Prayer 'Nume eccelso'.  This was followed by Signora Corbari in Fenena's Romanza 'Or, dischiuso è il firmamento'.  The concert finished, inevitably, with the Chorus of Hebrew Slaves, 'Va, pensiero', though its performance in an arrangement for the five company principals has presumably not been repeated in Edinburgh.

Performance Cast

Elvira daughter of Lord Walton

Jeanne Anaïs Castellan

Bruno Sir Bruno Roberton, a Puritan officer

Mr Coleman

Lord Gualtiero Valton Lord Walter Walton, a Puritan and Governor General

Mr Morrisson

Riccardo Sir Richard Forth, a Puritan colonel

Signor Ciabatta

Giorgio Sir George Walton, Lord Walton's brother, a retired Puritan colonel

Luciano Fornasari

Enrichetta Queen Henrietta Maria, widow of Charles I

Signora Corbari

Arturo Talbo Lord Arthur Talbot, a Royalist

Giacinto Marras

Production Cast

Conductor

Signor Orsini

Performance DatesPuritani 1846

Map List

Theatre Royal, Dunlop Street, Glasgow | Glasgow

18 Sep, 20.00 1 Oct, 20.00

Theatre Royal, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

24 Sep, 20.00

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