Opera Scotland

Trovatore 1957Sadler's Wells Opera

Read more about the opera Trovatore

Il trovatore does not seem to have been performed very often by Sadler's Wells at this time. Evidence suggests they left it to the Carl Rosa company, as well as Covent Garden and Italian visitors, concentrating instead on the other two indispensable middle-period Verdi masterpieces, Rigoletto and, especially, La traviata.

Still, here it is, in Aberdeen, though not in Dundee, with a stalwart cast of company regulars. Peter Glossop is just beginning to take on the major Verdi baritone parts that would be central to his international career. A leading Australian performer, Ronald Dowd, was well cast in such heroic roles. Victoria Elliott shared the big lyric Verdi and Puccini parts with Elizabeth Fretwell at this stage - happy the company with two such reliable artists.

Harold Blackburn had already kept this role in his repertoire for a decade. Nevertheless, he was singing Ferrando at the Coliseum twenty years later, still with his characteristically wonderful, effortless clarity of diction, so important in this part. The casting of Sheila Rex as Azucena may seem surprising, but she was an excellent actress, and though small in stature, and often employed in character parts, could always dominate the stage when required. It is also noticeable that a future star of the company, the soprano Ava June, is here emerging from the chorus.

Cast details taken from programme in Aberdeen City Library.

Performance Cast

Ferrando captain of Di Luna's guard

Harold Blackburn

Inez confidante of Leonora

Ava June

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

Victoria Elliott

Count di Luna a young noble of Aragon

Peter Glossop

Manrico a chieftain under the Prince of Biscay

Ronald Dowd

Azucena a Biscayan gypsy woman

Sheila Rex

Old Gypsy

William Davies


John Larsen

Ruiz a soldier in Manrico's service

Rhys Williams

Performance DatesTrovatore 1957

Map List

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

4 Apr, 19.30

King's Theatre, Glasgow | Glasgow

15 Apr, 19.30 18 Apr, 19.30

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