Opera Scotland

Trovatore 1856Mr Beale's Italian Opera Company

Read more about the opera Trovatore

The first two evenings of this third Edinburgh season by the Italian Opera were devoted to the first Scottish performances of Verdi's new mega-hit, Il trovatore. Once safely launched, it caught on rapidly, to the point where a season of opera in Scotland would scarcely seem complete without it.

The performers included a chorus selected from the company at Covent Garden, and an expanded orchestra. This had two leaders, Mr Alex Mackenzie and Mr Wedemeyer. Good as he was, Mackenzie's career would be far outshone by his son, also Alexander. This talented boy, born in 1847, even as a nine-year-old, was already playing violin in the pit band, and would shortly be packed off to study in Germany. As one of the most notable British composers of the age, he would eventually be knighted.

The Caledonian Mercury (22 January) stated of the tenor "Signor Baraldi uses no claptrap, and has recourse to nothing unnatural. He is one of the truest and most legitimate singers of the day; and while there are some, not many, certainly, who may boast of greater compass, and greater power on some restricted portion of their vocal register, no one, we are assured, will give more unmixed satisfaction to the public...

The chorus is decidedly the best we have ever had in this city. Precision in time and tune was marked in all they attempted.

We are bound in justice to add that the scenery (painted for the Opera) was better than anything we have had in that way for a very long time.. The National Anthem was sung by the 'strength of the company' at the close of the Opera..."

 The visit was scheduled to run from 21 January to 29 February, with performances taking place on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. The season began with Il trovatore, and according to advertisements published on 29 December 1855 was intended to continue with Le Prophète, William Tell, Rigoletto, Ernani, Linda di Chamounix, La Favorita and Don Sebastian. Arrangements were still being finalised to produce Norma, Barbiere, Lucrezia Borgia and Les Huguenots.

Performance Cast

Ferrando captain of Di Luna's guard

Signor Boccolini

Inez confidante of Leonora

Madame Bellosio

Leonora a Duchess, lady-in-waiting to the Princess of Aragon

Madame Fodor

Count di Luna a young noble of Aragon

Signor Monari

Manrico a chieftain under the Prince of Biscay

Signor Neri Baraldi

Azucena a Biscayan gypsy woman

Madame Widmann

Ruiz a soldier in Manrico's service

Signor Verini

Performance DatesTrovatore 1856

Map List

Theatre Royal, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

21 Jan, 20.00 22 Jan, 20.00

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