Opera Scotland

Andrea Chénier 1960Sadler's Wells Opera

Read more about the opera Andrea Chénier

The Scottish leg of the Sadler’s Wells Autumn tour in 1960 only took in two cities, Glasgow and Dundee, but featured several works not toured before, the grandest of which was the first staging by the company of Andrea Chénier. The Herald review indicates that the orchestra had a few rough edges and complains about long intervals. Presumably the big production was an awkward fit for scene changes at the Empire. No such problems occurred in Dundee, where a big audience were highly enthusiastic, even for a cast lacking the two original stars. It was, however, all a bit loud due to the lack of a pit in the Dundee theatre.

The tour schedule was as follows:

Glasgow Empire w/c 17 October: Mon Barber of Seville, Tue Andrea Chénier, Wed Merrie England, Thu Barber, Fri Hansel and Gretel, Sat mat Merrie England, Sat eve Madam Butterfly.

Dundee Gaumont w/c 24 October: Mon Merrie England, Tue Hansel and Gretel, Wed Barber, Thu Madam Butterfly, Fri Andrea Chénier, Sat mat Barber, Sat eve Merrie England.

This new production by Anthony Besch had opened in London in 1959 with Victoria Elliott, Charles Craig and Peter Glossop. This was the first production in Britain for more than fifty years, and it was not revived. Since then, performances in the UK have continued to be rare. The Royal Opera has done two short-lived stagings, one for Plácido Domingo and, more recently, one for Jonas Kaufmann. Scottish Opera gave it a couple of concert performances in 2005 while Opera North launched a full staging in 2016.

The cast is taken from a programme for the Dundee performance in the OperaScotland collection, supplemented by variations from the Glasgow Herald review.

Performance Cast


William McGovern

Carlo Gérard Charles Gérard, a servant of the Countess, later an agent of Robespierre

Gwyn Griffiths

Maddalena Madeleine de Coigny

Victoria Elliott (Oct 18)

Ava June (Oct 28)

Countess di Coigny Maddalena's mother

Cynthia Morey

Bersi Maddalena’s mulatto maid

Ann Robson

Fléville Pierre Fléville, a cavalier

Julian Moyle


John Fryatt

Andrea Chénier a poet

Charles Craig (Oct 18)

William Aitken (Oct 28)

Mathieu a waiter

Bernard Turgeon

Roucher a friend of Chénier

Julian Moyle

Incredibile an 'incroyable' or young beau, also an informer

John Stoddart 2

Madelon an old woman

Jane Whitehead

Dumas president of the council

William McGovern

Fouquier-Tinville attorney-general

Lawrence Folley

Schmidt gaoler at St Lazare prison

Eric Stannard

Performance DatesAndrea Chénier 1960

Map List

Empire Theatre, Glasgow | Glasgow

18 Oct, 19.00

Gaumont Theatre | Dundee

28 Oct, 19.00

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