Opera Scotland

Cavalleria Rusticana 1920O'Mara Grand Opera Company

Read more about the opera Cavalleria Rusticana

The O'Mara company made two visits to Scotland in 1920, and Aberdeen received them for a fortnight in the spring and a further one in the autumn. The length of both these visits may have been due to the much-lamented closure of Her Majesty's Theatre in Dundee in 1919. It had been a regular date for O'Mara during the war years, but had just been acquired, in rather controversial fashion, by a London-based cinema chain. It would be a couple of years before the big Dundee variety house, the King's, was made available for opera. The people of the north were the gainers.

The Aberdeen schedules were:

Week commencing 19 April: Mon Bohème; Tue Tannhäuser; Wed Lily of Killarney; Thu Madam Butterfly; Fri Marriage of Figaro; Sat mat Traviata; Sat eve Faust.

Week commencing 26 April: Mon Samson and Delilah; Tue Un ballo in maschera; Wed Bohemian Girl; Thu Wally; Fri Manon Lescaut; Sat mat Faust; Sat eve Trovatore.

Week commencing 22 November: Mon Cav & Pag; Tue Bohème; Wed Maritana; Thu Faust; Fri Romeo and Juliet; Sat mat Rigoletto; Sat eve Tannhäuser.

Week commencing 29 November: Mon Lohengrin; Tue Samson and Delilah; Wed Puritan's Daughter; Thu Trovatore; Fri Seraglio; Sat mat Madam Butterfly; Sat eve Lily of Killarney.

This repertoire contains many of the standard favourites of the day - perhaps Carmen is the only obvious omission. There are several distinct novelties - not just Verdi (Un ballo in maschera), Gounod (Romeo and Juliet) or Puccini (Manon Lescaut) but also Catalani (La Wally) and even Balfe (The Puritan's Daughter). The fact that the little-known Mozart works, Figaro and Seraglio, were both scheduled for a Friday implies that the local orchestral players would need some extra rehearsals during the week.

The programme gives timings as follows - Cavalleria took 65 minutes. After a 15 minute interval Pagliacci followed in two acts of 45 and 25 minutes, with a 15 minute interval. Total duration of the performance was therefore 2 hours 45 minutes.

Cast details for 22 November are from a programme in Aberdeen City Library.

Performance Cast

Santuzza a village girl

Kathleen O'Dea

Mamma Lucia the innkeeper, Turiddu’s mother

Maud Baker

Turiddu a young soldier

Lyon Mackie

Alfio the village carter

David Evans

Lola Alfio’s wife

Ella Doran

Performance DatesCavalleria Rusticana 1920

Map List

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

22 Nov, 19.30

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