Opera Scotland

Betly 1838Mr Mitchell's Italian Opera Buffa Company

Read more about the opera Betly

According to the Caledonian Mercury (10 May), the company was by far the best that had appeared in Edinburgh, all the performers being good and 'producing a unity of effect'. Of Betly the critic thought it 'clever enough, though Donizetti 'writes too fast to give it a chance of immortality'.  He reserved criticism for the chorus 'on so short a notice, and singing in a foreign language, they could not have been expected to be either very perfect, or very animated, but they might have advantageously exerted their lungs a little more'.

'The scene with the soldiers, Lablache and Scheroni, is extremely animated and effective, and the little episodical duet is very pretty and touching, but the orchestra made havoc of some part of it.  A duet between Lablache and Catone was really excellent, and produced a furore.'

Betly is a charming little one-act comedy with a plot borrowed from a French one, Le Chalet, by Scribe.  For these performances it was used as an afterpiece for Rossini's Italian Girl, with the William Tell overture sandwiched between.  It must have been rather difficult for any piece to have an impact in those circumstances.

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

Daniele a Swiss peasant

Signor Catone

Max a Soldier

Frederick Lablache

Betly sister to Max

Madlle Scheroni

Production Cast


Signor Negri

Performance DatesBetly 1838

Map List

Theatre Royal, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

8 May, 20.00 12 May, 20.00 19 May, 20.00

© Copyright Opera Scotland 2023

Site by SiteBuddha