Opera Scotland

Lucia di Lammermoor 1849Italian Operatic Company

Read more about the opera Lucia di Lammermoor

The late summer of 1849 saw a Scottish visit by what was billed as the Italian Operatic Company. The tour took in the Theatres Royal in Edinburgh (two weeks) and Glasgow (four), generally performing on three nights of the week.

The repertoire was chosen from major works of Rossini, Donizetti and Bellini that are once again familiar today, even if they largely disappeared from sight for an intervening century.

In Edinburgh, prices of admission were: Boxes, 5s; Pit, 3s; Lower Gallery, 2s; Upper Gallery, 1s. No Second Price (i.e. no discounts for people arriving when the show was under way).

The following information is compiled from advertisements and reviews in various editions of theCaledonian Mercury and The Scotsman (for Edinburgh) with the Glasgow Gazette and Glasgow Herald.

The leading soprano, Signora Montenegro, was  billed as 'of La Scala Milan, Vienna, all the Italian Operas, and her Majesty's Theatre, London'. The other ladies were advertised as Madlle Montelli, from the Opera, Amsterdam and Madame Vittorio, from the Opera, Amsterdam.

The gentlemen were Signor Santiago, of the Academie Royale, Paris; Signor Montelli, from the San Carlo, Naples; Signor Bailini, of the Opera, Turin; Signor Vittorio, of the Opera, Amsterdam; and Signor Tommaso, from the Royal Opera, St Petersburgh.

The conductor was Monsieur A Hennin. The orchestra was recruited locally, larger than the theatre's usual band, and was led by Mr A Mackenzie, an excellent local violinist, whose son grew up to become a highly noted composer, Sir Alexander Mackenzie.

The performance schedule for the Edinburgh stay was: Tue Aug 21 Norma; Thu Aug 23 Lucia di Lammermoor; Sat Aug 25 Il barbiere di Siviglia; Tue Aug 28 Lucrezia Borgia; Thu Aug 30 L'elisir d'amoreand last act of La Favorite; Sat Sep 1 La sonnambula.

The Glasgow schedule ran thus: Tue Sep 4 Norma, Thu Sep 6 Lucrezia Borgia; Sat Sep 8 Lucia di Lammermoor; Mon Sep 10 L'elisir d'amore and last act of La Favorite; Wed Sep 12 no perf; Fri Sep 14no perf; Mon Sep 17 Lucrezia Borgia; Wed Sep 19 Norma; Fri Sep 21 tbc; Mon Sep 24 La sonnambula; Wed Sep 26 Don Pasquale; Sat Sep 29 tbc.

Some gaps remain to be filled. It seems unlikely that such popular works as Il barbiere di Siviglia and Don Pasquale should only have received one performance each, with La Favorite appearing only as a makeweight.

The Herald of Monday, 10 September is brief, but enthusiastic - 'On Saturday the opera was Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor. We will only briefly state that we were even better pleased with the Lucia of Signora Montenegro than with either of the above characters' (i.e. Norma and Lucrezia).......'the Glasgow public need not longer decline visiting Dunlop Street Theatre. The opera was never better brought out in Glasgow; and, without the slightest hesitation, we have to state, as our opinion, that there never appeared in Glasgow a lady so perfectly able to sustain the principal characters in tragic opera as Signora Montenegro. We speak with reference as well to her musical as her dramatic talent.'

Performance Cast

Normanno the Ashtons' forester

Signor Vittorio

Enrico Lord Henry Ashton

Signor Montelli

Raimondo Bide the Bent, the Ashtons' chaplain

Signor Bailini

Lucia Lucy Ashton, Henry's Sister

Signora Montenegro

Edgardo Edgar, the Master of Ravenswood

Signor Santiago

Arturo Lord Arthur Bucklaw

Signor Tommaso

Production Cast


Mons A Hennin

Performance DatesLucia di Lammermoor 1849

Map List

Theatre Royal, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

23 Aug, 20.00

Theatre Royal, Dunlop Street, Glasgow | Glasgow

8 Sep, 20.00

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