Opera Scotland

Martha 1957Sadler's Wells Opera

Read more about the opera Martha

This charming comedy, with its charming rustic English setting,  remained very popular with British audiences well into the 20th century.   In spite of its German composer and French source material,  it seems to have been regarded very much as an English opera on a par with Maritana and The Bohemian Girl,  and was performed by the same companies.  On the basis of this final visit as part of the first Sadler’s Wells tour it seems to have outlasted those contemporary English works.

Scottish Opera's group of Opera For All did tour it extensively with piano accompaniment in 1969.  It has not, however, been mounted by one of the major British companies since, being left to groups like Phoenix Opera and Haddo House to preserve a record of performances.


The 1957 tour programme

The four week tour of Scotland for once omitted Edinburgh, going to Aberdeen and Dundee instead.  Having been without professional opera since before the war, Dundee had received hugely successful visits by Carl Rosa in 1955 and 1956, so it was logical for the Wells to follow on, as they did annually with equal success until the theatre again became unavailable in 1961.  The repertoire in each city was similar but for Dundee not hearing Il trovatore (an extra Bohème instead) and Glasgow also getting Eugene Onegin and Puccini's Trittico.

The tour schedule was as follows:

Aberdeen, w/c 1 April:  Mon 1  Traviata;  Tue 2  Tosca;  Wed 3  Martha;  Thu 4  Trovatore;  Fri 5  Marriage of Figaro;  Sat 6 mat Bartered Bride;  Sat 6 eve  Bohème.

Dundee, w/c 8 April:  Mon 8  Traviata;  Tue 9  Bohème;  Wed 10  Marriage of Figaro;  Thu 11  Martha;  Fri 12  Tosca;  Sat 13 mat  Bohème.;  Sat 3 eve  Bartered Bride.

Glasgow, w/c 15 April:  Mon 15  Trovatore;  Tue 16  Bohème;  Wed 17  Tosca;  Thu 18  Trovatore;  Fri 19  Martha;  Sat 20 Mat  Bartered Bride;  Sat 20 eve  Tosca

Glasgow, w/c 22 April:  Mon 22  Marriage of Figaro;  Tue 23  Martha;  Wed 24  Tabarro & Suor Angelica & Gianni Schicchi;  Thu 25  Marriage of Figaro;  Fri 26 Eugene Onegin;  Sat 27 mat  Traviata.;  Sat 27 eve Bartered Bride.


The cast for Aberdeen is from a programme in the City Library,  and for Dundee is from a programme in the OperaScotland collection.

Performance DatesMartha 1957

Map List

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

3 Apr, 19.30

Gaumont Theatre | Dundee

11 Apr, 19.30

King's Theatre, Glasgow | Glasgow

19 Apr, 19.30 23 Apr, 19.30

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