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.  1909 saw the company visiting Belfast, followed by two weeks in Glasgow (at the Grand), after which they returned to England.  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 three French works (Faust, Dinorah and Carmen), as well as one English, 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.

The provisional repertoire (with further dates to be confirmed) for the Scottish visits was:

1909

Glasgow Grand: Week commencing 6 September:  Mon 6 Traviata; Tue 7  Ernani; Wed 8 Lucia di Lammermoor; Thu 9 Rigoletto; Fri 10 Faust; Sat 11 m Barbiere di Siviglia; Sat 11 e Carmen.

Glasgow Grand: Week commencing 13 September: Mon 13 Favorita; Tue 14 Cav & Pag; Wed 15 Dinorah; Thu 16 Norma; Fri 17 Barbiere di Siviglia; Sat 18 m Traviata; Sat 18 e Trovatore.

1910

Edinburgh Lyceum: Week commencing 3 October: Mon 3 Trovatore; Tue 4 Rigoletto; Wed 5 Carmen; Thu 6 Cav & Pag; Fri 7 Barbiere di Siviglia; Sat 8 m Lucia di Lammermoor; Sat 8 e Faust.

Week commencing 10 October. tbc

Aberdeen His Majesty's: Week commencing 17 October: Mon 17 Trovatore; Tue 18 Rigoletto; Wed 19 Cav & Pag; Thu 20 Carmen; Fri 21 Barbiere di Siviglia; Sat 22 m Lucia di Lammermoor; Sat 22 e Faust.

Dundee Her Majesty's: Week commencing 24 October: Mon 24 Trovatore; Tue 25 Rigoletto; Wed 26 Cav & Pag; Thu 27 Carmen; Fri 28 Barbiere di Siviglia; Sat 29 m Lucia di Lammermoor; Sat 29 e Faust.

1912

Dundee Her Majesty's: Week commencing 2 September: Mon 2 Cav & Pag; Tue 3 Faust; Wed 4 Trovatore, Thu 5 Lucia di Lammermoor; Fri 6 Traviata; Sat 7 m Barbiere di Siviglia; Sat 7 e Carmen.

Dundee Her Majesty's: Week commencing 9 September: Mon 9 Trovatore; Tue 10 Traviata; Wed 11 Faust; Thu 12 Barbiere di Siviglia; Fri 13 Cav & Pag; Sat 14 m Carmen (replacing Rigoletto due to illness of the Gilda, Signora Gavlosca); Sat 14 e Maritana.

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