Opera Scotland

Cavalleria Rusticana 1963Sadler's Wells Opera

Read more about the opera Cavalleria Rusticana

Cav & Pag remained popular elements of the operatic repertoire, and had been played regularly by Carl Rosa and Sadler's Wells. In London, this largely traditional production's thunder may have been stolen by the recent, superbly detailed Franco Zeffirelli staging at Covent Garden. On tour, however, the only rivalry was with the amateur companies. This cast certainly looks good. Rita Hunter was not yet the star she became a few years later, but Santuzza is a role she kept in her repertoire for many years. Jon Andrew was about to leave for work in Germany, but returned in the mid-seventies for major roles at ENO (Siegmund) and Covent Garden (Grigory in Boris Godunov). Baritone Michael Maurel was a regular guest with Scottish Opera over the next decade.


Sadler's Wells Opera in Scotland - 1963.

The first Scottish visit consisted of a single week in February at the Glasgow Empire.  The company returned for three weeks in November, one each at Edinburgh (King's), Aberdeen (His Majesty's) and Glsgow (King's).

The nine operas performed were by Mozart (Magic Flute); Donizetti (Don Pasquale);  Verdi (Traviata); Offenbach (Belle Hélène);  Bizet (Carmen);  Sullivan (Mikado);  Leoncavallo (Pagliacci);  Puccini (Girl of the Golden West); Mascagni (Cavalleria Rusticana).

The Scottish tour schedule was as follows:

Glasgow, w/c 19 February:  Mon 18 Carmen;  Tue 19 Cav & Pag;   Wed 20 Traviata;  Thu 21 Girl of the Golden West;  Fri 22 Carmen;  Sat 23 m Mikado;  Sat 23 e Mikado.

Edinburgh, w/c 4 November:  Mon 4 Magic Flute;  Tue 5 Don Pasquale;  Wed 6 Carmen;  Thu 7 Magic Flute;  Fri 8 Cav & Pag;   Sat 9 m Belle Hélène;  Sat 9 e Belle Hélène

Aberdeen,  w/c 11 November:  Mon 11 Magic Flute;  Tue 12 Carmen;  Wed 13 Don Pasquale;  Thu 14 Cav & Pag; Fri 15 Magic Flute;  Sat 16 m Belle Hélène;  Sat 16 e Belle Hélène.

Glasgow, w/c 18 November: Mon 18 Don Pasquale;  Tue 19 Magic Flute;  Wed 20 Carmen;  Thu 21 Magic Flute;  Fri 22 Cav & Pag;  Sat 23 m Belle Hélène;  Sat 23 e Belle Hélène.


The February cast, complete but for Mamma Lucia, is from the highly enthusiastic Herald review. Both operas had in common 'staging in detail of an interest and significance to hold the eye, staging that in its broader sweeps was of a quite uninhibited, gripping realism.'

Cast details for Glasgow are  from our copy of the programme for 22 November. Identical Aberdeen details are confirmed by a programme in Aberdeen City Library.

Performance Cast

Turiddu a young soldier

William Aitken (Feb 19)

Jon Andrew (Nov 14, 22)

Santuzza a village girl

Rita Hunter (Feb 19; Nov 14, 22)

Mamma Lucia the innkeeper, Turiddu’s mother

Elisabeth Bergman (Nov 14, 22)

Alfio the village carter

David Bowman (Feb 19)

Michael Maurel (Nov 14, 22)

Lola Alfio’s wife

Maureen Guy (Feb 19)

Barbara Rendell (Nov 14, 22)

Performance DatesCavalleria Rusticana 1963

Map List

Empire Theatre, Glasgow | Glasgow

19 Feb, 00.00

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

8 Nov, 00.00

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

14 Nov, 19.30

King's Theatre, Glasgow | Glasgow

22 Nov, 19.00

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