Opera Scotland

Lucrezia Borgia 1855Mr Beale's Italian Opera Company

Read more about the opera Lucrezia Borgia

The Greenock Advertiser's publicity for these performances in Glasgow stated that 'Mr Edmund Glover has the honour to announce that, in conjunction with Mr Wood of Edinburgh and Mr Beale of London, he has now completed all the arrangements for the performance of the above operas.' Thus if Mr Glover managed events in Glasgow and Mr Wood in Edinburgh, it seems reasonable to deduce that Mr Beale will have brought the artists together in London. In Glasgow the conductor is said to be Mr Alfred Mellon and in Edinburgh Signor Li Calsi. Mr A Mackenzie is leader of the orchestra at both venues.

These were billed as the last performances of Madame Grisi in Glasgow and in Edinburgh, though she and her husband did in fact return later, at least for concerts.

This company gave six performances in one week. At Glasgow's Theatre Royal in Dunlop Street, on Monday Tuesday and Wednesday, they presented Lucrezia Borgia, La sonnambula and Norma. They then decamped to the Edinburgh Theatre Royal, performing the same works in sequence over Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The only change in the programme is that in Glasgow the tensions generated by Norma were relieved by an afterpiece in the form of an act of Il barbiere di Siviglia. This seems to have been the original plan for Edinburgh, but when Mario was prevailed upon to appear in Norma, the afterpiece was changed to the final act from Sonnambula. Musical entertainment between the acts was provided by a Hungarian virtuoso pianist, George Lichtenstein.

The Glasgow Sentinel of Saturday 29 September records that 'A large turnout of the rank and fashion of the city' greeted the performers on opening night. The undoubted stars of the company were the veteran husband and wife pairing of Grisi and Mario. While only in their mid-forties, their careers and been arduous and it was recognised that their voices were no longer fresh.

Performance Cast

Gennaro Lucrezia's son, raised in secret

Giovanni Mario

Donna Lucrezia Borgia

Giulia Grisi

Don Alfonso d'Este Duke of Ferrara, Lucrezia's fourth husband

Signor Susini

Production Cast


Alfred Mellon (Sep 24)

Signor Li Calsi (Sep 27)

Performance DatesLucrezia Borgia 1855

Map List

Theatre Royal, Dunlop Street, Glasgow | Glasgow

24 Sep, 20.00

Theatre Royal, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

27 Sep, 20.00

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