Opera Scotland

Norma 1892Dundee Amateur Opera Company

Read more about the opera Norma

Norma must count as a serious challenge for any group of amateur performers, but this Dundee group were on very good form under the determined leadership of Samuel Hirst, and had presented the more popular Sonnambula the year before. Her Majesty's also had an excellent orchestra. Everitt Loseby spent his career ensuring those standards were maintained, and usually directed from the leader's desk, but if the visiting company had its own conductor, as here, he played a subsidiary role. Dundee was an extremely prosperous and thriving Victorian city at this time. It seems no expense was spared on the production side, with lavish new sets for every scene, which could, of course, be retained by the theatre for use in future projects.

It was usual to import guest stars for the leading parts, though this year's were on a more exalted level than usual. Here the tenor was 'local boy made good' Durward Lely, whose career was about to go global. Giulia Valda was an American soprano enjoying a prominent career with Colonel Mapleson's company. Otta Brony (as she was described here) was a young Norwegian soprano, noted as an interpreter of Grieg. This particular opera was not in the repertoire of any companies that worked in English, so they all needed to learn unfamiliar words, even if the notes were well known to them. To undergo a long dress rehearsal on the Monday, followed by five successive nights was asking a lot of any performers, especially since Madame Valda had developed a cold. Furthermore, Valda and Lely were due back in London to sing the lead roles of Ione and Glaucus in a new opera Nydia by baritone George Fox. Nydia (based on The Last Days of Pompeii by Bulwer Lytton) was due to open at the Crystal Palace on 10 May. In spite of all these potential pitfalls, this production of Norma seems to have been a great success.

Performance Cast

Oroveso Archdruid, father of Norma

Thomas Sturrock

Pollione Roman Pro-consul in Gaul

Durward Lely

Flavio a centurion

Richard Baird

Norma High Priestess of the druid temple

Giulia Valda

Adalgisa a virgin of the temple

Otta Brønnum

Clotilde Norma's confidante

Maggie Proctor

Performance DatesNorma 1892

Map List

Her Majesty's Theatre, Dundee | Dundee

26 Apr, 19.30 27 Apr, 19.30 28 Apr, 19.30 29 Apr, 19.30 30 Apr, 19.30

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