Opera Scotland

Sonnambula 1853Mr Wood's Edinburgh Italian Opera

Read more about the opera Sonnambula

A very ambitious project was undertaken by Mr Wood, the well-established Edinburgh impresario, at the end of 1853, basically to establish an opera company in Edinburgh that would run for several months. The opening performance took place at the Theatre Royal on Friday, 16 December, with a total of ten performances of six operas before the year end. Resuming in January, three more operas eventually joined the repertoire and performances continued to 3 March, including a dozen evenings at the Glasgow Theatre Royal.

The chorus of twenty and most of the orchestra of thirty-two were brought from London, already familiar with the works to be given. The Italian repertoire was to be conducted by Signor Orsini, the German by Herr Anscheutz. The band had two leaders alternating, Mr F W Kreuzer and Mr A Mackenzie. The latter was one of a handful of local players deemed of sufficient quality to be retained. Indeed Alexander Mackenzie was a leading musician in the local community for many years, and his son, later Sir Alexander, played in the theatre pit as a child before being sent to study in Germany.

The operas chosen were by Mozart (Don Giovanni); Beethoven (Fidelio); Weber (Freischütz); Rossini (Barbiere di Siviglia); Donizetti (Elisir d'amore, Lucrezia Borgia); Meyerbeer (Huguenots); Bellini (Sonnambula, Norma).

The schedule in December was:

Fri 16 Dec Sonnambula; Sat 17 Dec Sonnambula; Mon 19 Dec Norma; Tue 20 Dec Lucrezia Borgia; Thu 22 Dec Barbiere di Siviglia; Fri 23 Dec Fidelio; Mon 26 Dec Norma; Tue 27 Dec Lucrezia Borgia; Thu 29 Dec Barbiere di Siviglia; Fri 30 Dec Freischütz.

Performance Cast

Lisa proprietor of the inn

Madame Anglois

Alessio a villager, in love with Lisa

Signor Gregorio

Amina an orphan, raised by Teresa

Madamigella Crespi

Teresa proprietor of the mill

Madame Chierici

Elvino a prosperous young villager

Alessandro Bettini

Count Rodolfo an aristocrat returning from travel

Signor Mancusi

Production Cast


Signor Orsini

Performance DatesSonnambula 1853

Map List

Theatre Royal, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

16 Dec, 20.00 17 Dec, 20.00

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