Opera Scotland


La Serva Padrona in Edinburgh

Posted 5 Jan 2012

The first travelling foreign opera company to reach Scotland was that of Gurrini in 1763. According to the Edinburgh Evening Courant, the managers of the Edinburgh Theatre had prevailed on "some eminent performers of the ITALIAN BURLETTA, or comic OPERA, To visit this metropolis for a short time.  The band of music will consist of the very best hands the managers can procure, and the Orchestra enlarged accordingly."

La Serva Padrona by Pergolesi was the opening piece on 21 June, accompanied by a grand overture by Jommelli, and described as the famous Burletta of Pergolesi.  The last night of the season was 30 July.   La Serva Padrona was performed in Italian, conducted by Signor Arrigoni with Gurrini playing the part of the old man and Signora Gurrini the maidservant.  The libretto with a translation by a member of the regular Edinburgh company was sold at the door.  The Courant report described the audience as 'most crowded and polite.'     Pergolesi, pictured, (1710-1736) is perhaps best known for this work.   Read more about it here


For further information, see:-

Rosenfeld, S. 1955 Foreign Theatrical companies in Great Britain in the 17th and 18th centuries Society for Theatre Research, London

Edinburgh Evening Courant


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