Opera Scotland

Nozze di Figaro 1920O'Mara Grand Opera Company

Read more about the opera Marriage of Figaro

The O'Mara company made two visits to Scotland in 1920, and Aberdeen received them for a fortnight in the spring and a further one in the autumn. The length of both these visits may have been due to the much-lamented closure of Her Majesty's Theatre in Dundee in 1919. It had been a regular date for O'Mara during the war years, but had just been acquired, in rather controversial fashion, by a London-based cinema chain. It would be a couple of years before the big Dundee variety house, the King's, was made available for opera. The people of the north were the gainers.

The Aberdeen schedules were:

Week commencing 19 April: Mon Bohème; Tue Tannhäuser; Wed Lily of Killarney; Thu Madam Butterfly; Fri Marriage of Figaro; Sat mat Traviata; Sat eve Faust.

Week commencing 26 April: Mon Samson and Delilah; Tue Un ballo in maschera; Wed Bohemian Girl; Thu Wally; Fri Manon Lescaut; Sat mat Faust; Sat eve Trovatore.

Week commencing 22 November: Mon Cav & Pag; Tue Bohème; Wed Maritana; Thu Faust; Fri Romeo and Juliet; Sat mat Rigoletto; Sat eve Tannhäuser.

Week commencing 29 November: Mon Lohengrin; Tue Samson and Delilah; Wed Puritan's Daughter; Thu Trovatore; Fri Seraglio; Sat mat Madam Butterfly; Sat eve Lily of Killarney.

This repertoire contains many of the standard favourites of the day - perhaps Carmen is the only obvious omission. There are several distinct novelties - not just Verdi (Un ballo in maschera), Gounod (Romeo and Juliet) or Puccini (Manon Lescaut) but also Catalani (La Wally) and even Balfe (The Puritan's Daughter). The fact that the little-known Mozart works, Figaro and Seraglio, were both scheduled for a Friday implies that the local orchestral players would need some extra rehearsals during the week.

The programme for Figaro gives timings as follows - four acts of 40, 50, 35 and 25 minutes, with three ten minute intervals. Total duration of the performance was therefore 3 hours.

Cast details for 29 April are from a programme in Aberdeen City Library.

Performance Cast

Figaro the Count's valet

Alan Turner

Susanna the Countess's maid

Eveline Birks

Bartolo a doctor, the Countess's former guardian

Joseph Griffin

Marcellina Bartolo's housekeeper

Maud Baker

Cherubino the Count's page

Mabel Dennis

Count Almaviva a Spanish grandee

John C Browner

Don Basilio a priest and music master

Mr A Locker

Countess Almaviva

Dorothy Phillips

Antonio a gardener, Susanna's uncle

William Bowring

Performance DatesNozze di Figaro 1920

Map List

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

29 Apr, 19.30

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