Opera Scotland

Trovatore 1859Edmund Glover's Italian Opera Company

Read more about the opera Trovatore

This  two week long visit by an Italian Opera Company from Drury Lane, under the management of Edmund Glover, introduced the great dramatic soprano Therese Tietjens (whose surname was generally spelt as Titiens) to Scotland. It is perhaps no surprise that the visit was restricted to the central belt. However the opening night was not in Edinburgh nor in Glasgow, but in Greenock - a thriving seaport a few miles closer to the mouth of the Clyde, where a new Theatre Royal had just opened.

While this town had previously enjoyed orchestral and vocal extracts from operas, this single performance of Il trovatore was described in the Greenock Advertiser of Thursday, 27 October as 'for the first time an opportunity of seeing an Italian opera put upon the stage, and that too with as much skill and carefulness, and with as great success, as could have been hoped for in one of the metropolitan theatres'..........'There was a large and most fashionable audience, although the house was not crowded, and it was pleasant to witness the great interest displayed in the performances and the hearty appreciation of the more successful efforts of the performers.'

The single performance in Greenock was followed by five in Glasgow and three in Edinburgh. The final day in Glasgow also featured a matinee concert.

The schedule of operas was:-

Greenock Theatre Royal - Mon 24 Oct Il trovatore.

Glasgow Theatre Royal - Tue 25 Oct Il trovatore; Wed 26 Oct Martha; Fri 28 Oct Lucrezia Borgia; Sat 29 Oct Norma; Mon 31 Oct Les Huguenots.

Edinburgh Queen's Theatre - Tue 1 Nov Lucrezia Borgia; Thu 3 Nov Martha; Fri 4 Nov Les Huguenots.

Further comment from the Greenock reviewer included the following: 'The part of Leonora was undertaken by Mdlle Titiens, an excellent singer and still better performer. At the very first her liveliness delighted her audience and carried with her their interest and admiration to the close, every song being most heartily applauded..........her admirable histrionic and musical powers were eminently displayed.'

'Mdlle Borchardt performed the part od the gipsy to admiration, and did essential service in the success of the piece. We had not before observed this lady's name as occupying a prominent place in the lyric drama, and it seems strange that powers of singing and acting so remarkable and delightful should not be better known. The pourtrayal of Azucena was so vivid, accurate and artistic, that she quite overpowered her audience with her personification of of distress and misery.'

'Signor Giuglini is by far the finest tenor that ever sang in Greenock, it may be almost said in Britain. He has a voice of great fulness and purity...........His success is altogether attributable to the masterly taste and expression of his singing, for, unlike the two ladies who accompany him, Signor Giuglini is a very indifferent performer, his face and action conveying little or no idea of conception of or interest in his part, but his magnificent voice and its admirable management carried him through triumphantly.' 

'Conte di Luna was respectably represented by Signor Aldighieri, whose performance of ''Il balen',' however, scarcely equalled expectation. The orchestral accompaniment was excellent, and the chorus, though smaller than is usual in large towns, was in thorough training, and both added much to the pleasure of the performance.'

Performance Cast

Leonora a Duchess, lady-in-waiting to the Princess of Aragon

Therese Tietjens

Count di Luna a young noble of Aragon

Signor Aldighieri

Manrico a chieftain under the Prince of Biscay

Antonio Giuglini

Azucena a Biscayan gypsy woman

Madame Borchardt

Production Cast


Luigi Arditi

Performance DatesTrovatore 1859

Map List

Theatre Royal, Greenock | Greenock

24 Oct, 20.00

Theatre Royal, Dunlop Street, Glasgow | Glasgow

25 Oct, 20.00

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