Opera Scotland

Italiana in Algeri 1838Mr Mitchell's Italian Opera Buffa Company

Read more about the opera Italian Girl in Algiers

The Italian Opera Buffa Company, from London and under the management of Mr Mitchell, came to Edinburgh to give eight evenings of opera spread over two weeks. 

On Tuesday 8 May, the company gave L'italiana in Algeri.  The Caledonian Mercury (10 May) said the company 'is by far the best which has ever appeared on our boards.  The performers are all good, and the equality of excellence by which they are distinguished produces a unity of effect which can never be obtained from the efforts of a company composed on one superior and many indifferent artists, as has been the case with us hitherto'.

'Catone sang 'Languir' beautifully, and at once secured the favour of the audience;  and on every subsequent appearance was greeted with rapturous applause.  Perhaps his most successful effort was his solo in one of the concerted pieces, which he sang with great delicacy, vigour, and expression.  He was encored with intense acclamations, though the general effect of the piece suffered by the pause and repitition...

'Scheroni sang her scena 'O Patria', a composition of great difficulty and uncommon difficulty of expression, in a manner which left nothing to be desired.  Her voice told admirably in every part of it, and particularly towards the conclusion, where she gave it forth with a fervour that electrified the audience, who were scarcely prepared by her previous efforts for such a display of power and rigour...

'Mademoiselle Scheroni, the prima donna, has a voice of very considerable power, compass and flexibility.  Though neither a genuine contralto or mezzo soprano, it partakes of the quality of both, and thus enables its possessor to be successful equally in tender or brilliant passages.  These qualifications are set off to great advantage by a countenance of uncommon beauty, and a very graceful carriage.'

'Our favourite, however, is Signor F Lablache, a shadow to be sure of his great father, but still a very faithful one...  His voice is a faint resemblance of his father's, and has been evidently under his training, for it is smooth, flexible and highly cultivated.  His execution is neat and articulate, and he sings altogether like a thorough musician.'

The performances of Italian Girl were followed by Rossini's William Tell overture, and then Donizetti's sparkling little one-acter Betly

The cast shown is as advertised in the Caledonian Mercury for Tuesday 8 May.


The performances were: Tue 8 May L'Italiana in Algeri and Betly; Thu 10 May Un' avventura di Scaramuccia; Fri 11 May L'Elisir d'Amore; Sat 12 May  L'Italiana in Algeri & Betly; Mon 14 May repeat of Un' avventura di Scaramuccia; Wed 16 May Marriage of Figaro

On Thu 17 May Elisir d'Amore was given, and the visit finished on Sat 19 May with a double bill of L'Elisir d'Amore and Betly. 

Performance Cast

Mustafà Bey of Algiers

Signor Bellini

Elvira wife of Mustafà

Madlle Vermani

Lindoro Mustafà's Italian slave, in love with Isabella

Signor Catone

Isabella the Italian Girl

Madlle Scheroni

Taddeo Isabella's elderly companion

Signor Sanquirico

Production Cast


Signor Negri

Performance DatesItaliana in Algeri 1838

Map List

Theatre Royal, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

8 May, 20.00 11 May, 20.00

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