Opera Scotland

Castellano Grand Italian Opera

Cavaliere Francesco Castellano took his 'Grand Italian Opera' on extensive European tours in the years prior to the First World War.

The years of his visits to the UK are as yet to be confirmed.  In 1910 the Scottish tour included Edinburgh,  Aberdeen and Dundee.  A previous visit to Edinburgh is mentioned as having had inadequate public support due to an unfortunate clash with the death of King Edward VII (on 6 May 1910).

A return visit to Scotland was made in 1912, including two weeks in Dundee (commencing 3 September)

All performances were sung in Italian, including Wallace's Maritana, which appeared in 1912, complete with recitatives added by Tito Mattei.

The company did not tour its own scenery, relying on the management of theatres visited to supply suitable material from stock.

The nature of orchestral accompaniment is to be confirmed.  At this time, opera companies did not tour with a full orchestra.  Most of the operas in the repertory were already familiar to the theatres' resident orchestras, though it may be that a small group of instrumental principals were also included in the touring company to beef up the numbers.  The main Scottish theatre bands - Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee & Aberdeen - seem to have had a reputation for good standards. 

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