Opera Scotland

Madam Butterfly 1922Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Madama Butterfly

The Carl Rosa's Scottish tour at the beginning of 1922 was an unusually long one with 21 different operas on display. If the seven renderings of Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci are regarded as fourteen shows, that totals 105 performances (instead of 98) over the fourteen weeks from 16 January to 22 April embracing five venues. It began in the north-east, with one week in Perth, two in Aberdeen and one in Dundee. There followed an eight week stay in Glasgow, almost a northern headquarters for the company, and two final weeks in Edinburgh.

The most frequently performed operas in the season were Samson and Delilah (11), Carmen (9) and Madam Butterfly (9). Four works received only a single outing - The Valkyrie (in Aberdeen) and Lily of KillarneyBohème and Tosca in Glasgow.

The first week commencing Monday, 16 January, in Perth's delightfully intimate Edwardian auditorium, ran in this order: Mon Carmen; Tue Tales of Hoffmann, Wed Maritana, Thu Samson and Delilah, Fri Cav & Pag, Sat mat Madam Butterfly, Sat eve Il Trovatore.

In Aberdeen there were changes. Cav & Pag were dropped briefly, but the expanded repertoire saw the introduction of Bohemian GirlFaust and Mignon, as well as some larger-scale works by Verdi (Aïda) and Wagner (Tannhäuser, LohengrinValkyrie).

Dundee had not been visited since 1919 when Her Majesty's became a cinema, but the King's was now available, at least until 1928, when it, too, was acquired by a cinema company. The schedule for the week in Dundee was a fairly standard digest of the existing repertoire - Mon Faust, Tue Carmen, Wed Cav & Pag, Thu Samson and Delilah, Fri Tannhäuser, Sat Mat Madam Butterfly, and Sat Eve Trovatore.

With eight weeks to fill, it was inevitable that as well as nearly all of the above, a number of works would appear that were not seen elsewhere. These included Lily of Killarney, RigolettoMastersingersBohème and Tosca.


Cast details are as previewed for the matinee on 11 February in that morning's Dundee Advertiser - a critic would not normally be expected to cover Saturday performances if the company was moving on the following week. Further information relating to the next performance, in Glasgow on Wednesday, 15 February is from a brief report in the following day's Scotsman:

'Last night the audience at the Theatre-Royal, Glasgow, which patronised the performance of Puccini's Madam Butterfly by the Carl Rosa Opera Company was large and demonstrative. The pathos and musical beauty of the work rarely misses making a poignantly sentimental appeal. Miss Eva Turner turned to excellent account her broad, ringing voice in the music of the title part. The Pinkerton of Mr Gerald O'Brien was passably good. Miss Gladys Parr sang and acted admirably as the faithful Suzuki, and Mr Kingsley Lark's assumption of the Consul could be most heartily praised. The opera was conducted with skill and judgment by Mr Paul Kochs.'

Performance Cast

Lieutenant F B Pinkerton U S Navy

Horace Vincent (Feb 11m)

Gerald O'Brien (Feb 15)

Suzuki Cio-Cio-San's servant

Gladys Parr (Feb 11m, 15)

Sharpless U S Consul in Nagasaki

Kingsley Lark (Feb 11m, 15)

Cio-Cio-San known as Madam Butterfly

Eva Turner (Feb 11m, 15)

Kate Pinkerton

Gladys Parker (Feb 11m)

Performance DatesMadam Butterfly 1922

Map List

Perth Theatre | Perth

21 Jan, 14.15

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

24 Jan, 19.15

King's Theatre, Dundee | Dundee

11 Feb, 14.30

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

15 Feb, 19.15 4 Mar, 14.15 16 Mar, 19.15 23 Mar, 19.15 4 Apr, 19.15

Royal Lyceum Theatre | Edinburgh

18 Apr, 19.15

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