Opera Scotland

Madam Butterfly 1955Iskoldoff Italian Opera Company

Read more about the opera Madama Butterfly

The autumn 1955 tour arranged by Eugene Iskoldoff and Peter Daubeny was, as before, under the leadership of Fausto de Tura (Artistic Director) and his brother Manrico de Tura (Musical Director).

The standards were variable. The orchestra of London freelancers was generally considered too small and under-rehearsed, though no doubt improved as the tour progressed. The chorus was Italian, as were the soloists, with two exceptions. The dramatic soprano Kyra Vayne, who once again was singing the lead in Tosca, was joined by a young Japanese soprano, who, like many since, was recruited to sing Butterfly without having the vocal power required for the role. Scenery and costumes were hired from Italian companies.

Anna di Stasio went on to a good career as a soloist with the major companies, visiting Edinburgh Festivals while based both in Naples and Florence. Her recordings in the sixties include Suzuki (under Basbirolli, with Scotto and Bergonzi).

The visit opened on 20 September with a five week London season, this time at the Palace Theatre, rather than its usual venue, the Stoll. This was followed by two weeks at the Manchester Opera House, from 24 October, a single week from 14 November at Newcastle Theatre Royal, then two weeks from 21 November at Glasgow King's. The repertoire was more conventional than the 1954 season - three operas by Puccini (Bohème, Tosca, Butterfly); one by Verdi (Rigoletto) and the popular double-bill of Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci.


The Iskoldoff Italian Opera Company in Glasgow - 1955

The six operas presented were from the core of the Italian repertoire, represented by Verdi (Rigoletto);  Leoncavallo (Pagliacci);  Puccini ( Bohème,  Tosca Madam Butterfly) and Mascagni (Cavalleria Rusticana),

The performance schedule at the King's Theatre, Glasgow, was:

W/c Monday, 21 November;  Mon 21 Bohème;  Tue 22 Cav & Pag;  Wed 23 m Bohème;  Wed 23 e Madam Butterfly;  Thu 24 Rigoletto;  Fri 25 Tosca;  Sat 26 m Madam Butterfly;  Sat 26 e Rigoletto.

W/c Monday, 28 November:  Mon 28 Tosca;  Tue 29 Bohème;  Wed 30 m Tosca;  Wed 30 e Rigoletto;  Thu 1 Dec Cav & Pag;  Fri 2 Madam Butterfly;  Sat 3 m  Cav & Pag;  Sat 3 e Bohème


Details of this Butterfly cast are from a copy of the programme for the London season (30 September) - all the performers seem to have gone on the tour, but variations in Glasgow are to be confirmed.

Performance DatesMadam Butterfly 1955

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King's Theatre, Glasgow | Glasgow

23 Nov, 19.30 26 Nov, 14.30 2 Dec, 19.30

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