Opera Scotland

Madam Butterfly 1921Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Madama Butterfly

On Monday 13 December 1920, the Carl Rosa company began a four-week Christmas - New Year season in Aberdeen, with a completely different group of performers from those who had visited the central belt in the spring. The Directors were billed as Mrs Carl Rosa and Walter van Noorden, a former conductor.  The Acting Manager was Edward Taylor and Stage Director Harison Cook. Conductors were Wynn Reeves and John Cope, with Alfeo Turato as their assistant.

The first week, commencing 13 December, was: Mon Tales of Hoffmann; Tue Tannhäuser; Wed Faust; Thu Carmen; Fri Bohème; Sat mat Mignon; Sat eve Trovatore.

Second week, commencing 20 December: Mon Cav & Pag; Tue Butterfky; Wed Rigoletto; Thu Marriage of Figaro; Fri Daughter of the Regiment; Sat mat Tales of Hoffmann; Sat eve Carmen.

Third week, commencing 27 December: Mon Faust; Tue Trovatore; Wed Pro Patria & Pagliacci; Thu Bohème; Fri Tannhäuser; Sat mat Madam Butterfly; Sat eve Maritana.

Fourth week, commencing 3 January 1921: Mon Carmen, Tue Tales of Hoffmann, Wed Mignon, Thu Angelus, Fri Faust, Sat mat Trovatore, Sat eve Bohemian Girl.

Several of the singers in the new team enjoyed notable careers with Carl Rosa and other companies, including Ethel Austen, Constance Willis, Olive Gilbert, Eda Bennie and Appleton Moore. The cast is from a programme in Aberdeen City Library.

At this period scarcely a year seemed to pass without Butterfly being performed by at least one of the touring companies. It had very quickly become one of the most popular of all operas. When the Carl Rosa reached Glasgow in March, the cast was completely different from that of the Aberdeen visit.

Performance Cast

Lieutenant F B Pinkerton U S Navy

Albert Bond (Jan 1m)

Wilson Thornton (Mar 30)

Goro marriage broker

Ben Williams (Jan 1m)

Horace Vincent (Mar 30)

Suzuki Cio-Cio-San's servant

Constance Willis (Jan 1m)

Gladys Parr (Mar 30)

Sharpless U S Consul in Nagasaki

Appleton Moore (Jan 1m)

Kingsley Lark (Mar 30)

Cio-Cio-San known as Madam Butterfly

Lea Felissa (Jan 1m)

Beatrice Miranda (Mar 30)


Olive Gilbert (Jan 1m)

Florence Walker (Mar 30)

Uncle Yakuside

Mr T Jones (Jan 1m)

Tom Hamilton (Mar 30)

Imperial Commissioner

Tom Emery (Jan 1m)

Mr P G Travers (Mar 30)

Official Registrar

Mr L Hodgkinson (Jan 1m)

Reginald Gordon (Mar 30)

Bonze a priest, Cio-Cio-San's uncle

Sydney Wells (Jan 1m)

Tom Rowland (Mar 30)

Prince Yamadori

Trevor Evans (Jan 1m)

Martin Quinn (Mar 30)

Kate Pinkerton

Edith Polan (Jan 1m)

Gladys Parker (Mar 30)

Performance DatesMadam Butterfly 1921

Map List

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

1 Jan, 14.15

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

16 Feb, 17.15 23 Feb, 19.15 12 Mar, 14.00 18 Mar, 19.15 30 Mar, 19.15 30 Mar, 19.15 4 Apr, 19.15

Royal Lyceum Theatre | Edinburgh

15 Apr, 19.30

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