Opera Scotland

Sonnambula 1846Mr Calcraft's Italian Opera Company

Read more about the opera Sonnambula

La sonnambula lapsed seriously in popularity during the past few decades, but in 1846 the Caledonian Mercury describes it as Bellini's chef d'oeuvre.   There is no doubt that it was given far more frequently in the nineteenth century.  While Norma came to be recognized as his masterpiece, the difficulty in casting the title role may have restricted its availability.  Madame Castellan seems to have been regarded as a particularly good interpreter of Amina, while her Norma and Elvira in I puritani were both successful.

The opera's London premiere came within months of the first Milan performance.

The names listed are as advertised in the Glasgow Herald, with only the three principal roles confirmed by reviews.

Glasgow saw six opera performances at the Theatre Royal, Dunlop Street, and Edinburgh five, at the Theatre Royal.  The sixth event in Edinburgh was a concert of operatic excerpts in the new Music Hall on George Street on Sunday afternoon. (For details of the concert see the Puritani note).  The repertoire consisted of three operas by Bellini (La sonnambulaNorma, I puritani) and two by Donizetti (Lucia di LammermoorBelisario).  The last pair were receiving their Scottish premieres, and Belisario, an excellent work that has enjoyed some recent revivals, has not been seen here since.  The other four works remained popular for many decades, and are now accepted as elements of the standard repertoire.

Performance Cast

Lisa proprietor of the inn

Signora Corbari

Alessio a villager, in love with Lisa

Mr Coleman

Amina an orphan, raised by Teresa

Jeanne Anaïs Castellan

Teresa proprietor of the mill

Miss Fitzgerald


Mr Morrisson

Elvino a prosperous young villager

Giacinto Marras

Count Rodolfo an aristocrat returning from travel

Luciano Fornasari

Production Cast


Signor Orsini

Performance DatesSonnambula 1846

Map List

Theatre Royal, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

21 Sep, 20.00

Theatre Royal, Dunlop Street, Glasgow | Glasgow

23 Sep, 20.00

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