Opera Scotland

Betly 1838Mr Mitchell's Italian Opera Buffa Company

Read more about the opera Betly

Betly is a charming little one-act comedy by Donizetti, with a plot borrowed from a French one, Le Chalet, by Scribe.  For these performances it was used as an afterpiece for Rossini's Italian Girl, with the William Tell overture sandwiched between. It must have been rather difficult for any piece to have an impact in those circumstances.

According tto the Caledonian Mercury (10 May), the company was by far the best that had appeared in Edinburgh, all the performers being good and 'producing a unity of effect'. Of Betly, performed as an afterpiece to L'Italiana in Algeri, the critic thought it clever enough, though Donizetti 'writes too fast to give it a chance of immortality'. He reserved criticism for the chorus 'on so short a notice, and singing in a foreign language, they could not have been expected to be either very perfect, or very animated, but they might have advantageously exerted their lungs a little more'.

This seems to be the first appearance in Edinburgh by Frederick Lablache, son of the great Italian bass Luigi, who settled in Britain.

Performance Cast

Daniele a Swiss peasant

Signor Catone

Max a Soldier

Frederick Lablache

Betly sister to Max

Madlle Scheroni

Production Cast


Signor Negri

Performance DatesBetly 1838

Map List

Theatre Royal, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

8 May, 20.00 12 May, 20.00

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