Opera Scotland

Madam Butterfly 1944Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Madama Butterfly

This wartime Carl Rosa cast is interesting because of the presence of two immigrants from central Europe in Otakar Kraus and Walter Susskind. The conductor would be an important influence in the fifties, including a period with the SNO. The Czech baritone spent many years at Covent Garden, and was also a hugely influential teacher. On a lower level, Martin Quinn's career with Carl Rosa went back to shortly after the first war.

The principal singers seemed to have varied during the Scottish tour.

The opening performance in Scotland (29 February) was reviewed in the Aberdeen P&J the following day, and gives Janet Hamilton-Smith and Robert Sydney as the lovers. "The opera was beautifully produced, and the orchestra under Walter Suskind, fully evaluated every melody of the well-known score."

Cast details are as shown in the programme for 4 March Aberdeen City Library.

The performance in Edinburgh on 15 March was reviewed in the Scotsman the following day.

"While it was naturally a matter of regret that, owing to illness, the two 'guest' singers announced for last night's performance of Madame Butterfly at the King's theatre, Noel Eadie as the heroine, and Heddle Nash as Pinkerton, were unable to appear, the return to what might perhaps be styled a routine performance of the opera was a reminder, if such were needed, of the strength in principals of the Carl Rosa Company.

The 1944 visit to Scotland by Carl Rosa consisted of seven weeks, one in Aberdeen first, followed by two in Edinburgh.  The Rosa then spent two weeks at the Theatre Royal, Newcastle before moving to Glasgow for four weeks.

Crowded houses were reported, further evidenced by the Wednesday matinees.

w/c Mon 28 Feb Traviata; Tue Butterfly; Wed m Cav and Pag; Wed pm Boheme; Thu Merry Wives of Windsor; Fri Faust; Sat m Butterfly; Sat e Trovatore.

w/c Mon 6 Mar Traviata; Tue Faust; Wed m Cav and Pag; Wed e Boheme; Thu Merry Wives; Fri Rigoletto; Sat m Boheme; sat e Barber of Seville.

W/c Mon 13 Mar Cav and Pag; Tue Merry Wives; Wed m Faust; Wed e Butterfly; Thu Trovatore; Fri Boheme; Sat m Butterfly; Sat e Faust


w/c Mon 3 Apr Cav and Pag; Tue Boheme; Wed m Barber; Wed e Faust; Thu Merry Wives; Fri Butterfly; Sat m Cav and Pag; Sat e Trovatore

W/c Mon 10 Apr Traviata; Tue Tales of Hoffman; Wed m Faust; Wed 12 Butterfly; Thu Boheme; Fri Tales of Hoffman; Sat m Merry Wives; Sat e Rigoletto

w/c Mon Apr 17 Barber; Tue Traviata; Wed m Hoffman; Wed e Rigoletto; Thu Faust; Fri Butterfly; Sat m Barber; Sat e Traviata;

w/c Mon 25 Apr Rigoletto; Tue Merry Wives; Wed m Butterfly; Wed e Hoffman; Thu Traviata; Fri Boheme; Sat m Hoffman; Sat e Cav and Pag

Performances of Cav and Pag were accompanied by those of nine other operas. 

Performance Cast

Suzuki Cio-Cio-San's servant

Gladys Parr (15 March)

Catherine Lawson

Lieutenant F B Pinkerton U S Navy

John Myrddin (15 March)

Robert Sydney (29 Feb)

John Torney

Goro marriage broker

Liddell Peddieson

Sharpless U S Consul in Nagasaki

Hubert Dunkerley

Cio-Cio-San known as Madam Butterfly

Janet Hamilton-Smith (29 Feb)

Helen Ogilvie

Imperial Commissioner

Martin Quinn

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

Appleton Moore

Prince Yamadori

Lipa Balmont

Kate Pinkerton

Ruth Abbott

Performance DatesMadam Butterfly 1944

Map List

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

29 Feb, 19.15 4 Mar, 14.30

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

15 Mar, 18.30 18 Mar, 14.00

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

7 Apr, 19.00 12 Apr, 19.00 21 Apr, 19.00 26 Apr, 14.00

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