Opera Scotland

Nozze di Figaro 1953Covent Garden Opera

Read more about the opera Marriage of Figaro

It is interesting to see that several of the major roles were double cast - a useful precaution in the event of winter cold, as seems to have happened here.

The clear novelty in these performances of Figaro is an early appearance by Joan Sutherland as the Countess. This is a role she would not pursue when she became an international superstar, following her appearance in Lucia di Lammermoor in 1959. 

However we can note from the attached programme in the OperaScotland collection that, for the Glasgow performance on 12 March, Sutherland was indisposed and replaced by the dramatic soprano Sylvia Fisher, a more established Australian artiste.

The role of Figaro would remain central to the career of Sir Geraint Evans over the next twenty years and more.

Adèle Leigh became a recognised star performer on the continent, singing the soubrette repertoire in operetta, especially in Vienna.  It is interesting to see her here singing both Cherubino, a part she had played for years, and Susanna, a greater challenge, on different evenings.


Covent Garden Opera in Scotland - 1953

Edinburgh Empire,  W/c Monday, 23 February:  Mon 23 Aïda;  Tue 24  Marriage of Figaro;  Wed 25  Tristan and Isolde;  Thu 26 Bohème;  Fri 27 Masked Ball;  Sat 28 m Bohème; Sat 28 e Trovatore.

Edinburgh cast as advertised; Glasgow from a programme in the OperaScotland collection.

Performance Cast

Figaro the Count's valet

Geraint Evans (Feb 24; Mar 12)

Susanna the Countess's maid

Leonne Mills (Feb 24)

Adèle Leigh (Mar 12)

Bartolo a doctor, the Countess's former guardian

Howell Glynne (Feb 24; Mar 12)

Marcellina Bartolo's housekeeper

Edith Coates (Feb 24)

Barbara Howitt (Mar 12)

Cherubino the Count's page

Adèle Leigh (Feb 24)

Eugenia Zareska (Mar 12)

Count Almaviva a Spanish grandee

Jess Walters (Feb 24; Mar 12)

Don Basilio a priest and music master

William McAlpine (Feb 24; Mar 12)

Countess Almaviva

Joan Sutherland (Feb 24)

Sylvia Fisher (Mar 12)

Antonio a gardener, Susanna's uncle

Rhydderch Davies (Mar 12)

Don Curzio a lawyer

David Tree (Mar 12)

Barbarina daugher of Antonio

Norah Cannell (Mar 12)

First Peasant Girl

Vera Evans (Mar 12)

Second Peasant Girl

Elizabeth Goodall (Mar 12)

Production Cast


James Gibson (Feb 24; Mar 12)


Edward J Dent

Performance DatesNozze di Figaro 1953

Map List

Empire Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

24 Feb, 19.00

King's Theatre, Glasgow | Glasgow

12 Mar, 19.00

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