Opera Scotland

Daughter of the Regiment 1858Mr Wyndham's Italian Opera Company

Read more about the opera Fille du RĂ©giment

September was not seen as the ideal time for an opera company to visit Edinburgh, as the 'season' had not yet got under way, and many of the regular potential audience members must still have been away at their country estates, or even abroad. The theatre would be difficult to fill. Nevertheless, one of the opera stars of the time, the young soprano Marietta Piccolomini, who had previously enjoyed success in the city, was about to sail on her first visit to the USA. She had therefore embarked on a 'farewell tour' of the UK, supported by singers from Benjamin Lumley's company at Her Majesty's Theatre in London. It was only to be expected that the local theatrical management, led by Mr R H Wyndham, of 95 Prince's Street, would secure a visit. The company was small - a chorus of a dozen voices, with an orchestra not much bigger. No conductor has been identified as yet.

There was only time for four operatic performances in total, three at the Queen's Theatre in Edinburgh, with a fourth at the Theatre Royal in Glasgow. They would then, presumably, embark for the Atlantic crossing. The Edinburgh schedule was: Mon 20 Sep Il trovatore; Tue 21 Sep La traviata; Wed 22 Sep La figlia del reggimento (for Donizetti's frothy French comedy was given in Italian).  The following day, the company took the train to Glasgow, where the advertised performance of Il trovatore was scheduled for the evening of Thu 23 Sep. However the company's dramatic tenor, Antonio Giuglini, had developed a cold after singing in Traviata. While just able to nurse his voice through the short concert that followed the Donizetti, to sing Manrico was out of the question. A second performance of Donizetti's genial comedy was therefore substituted.

The fact that The Daughter of the Regiment was mounted for Piccolomini's Benefit Night indicates that it was widely recognized as one of her best parts. The opera itself was generally admired, the Caledonian Mercury stating bluntly that, 'although not a great, is rather an interesting one, and far superior, in a musical point of view, to La Traviata. The melodies are much more spontaneous, and in a greater degree true to the dramatic principle.'

Of the star soprano, the Caledonian Mercury took the view that - 'During the opera, she expressed the light and pretty music with great brilliancy and sweetness. The air ''Ciascun lo dice'' was rapturously encored, as was also her duet, ''A voti cosi ardente,'' with Signor Belart, who last night appeared for the first time, when he fully maintained the good reputation he has achieved in London. The character of Tonio, although not making a great demand upon a tenor, gives us a very good opinion of his merits, which, we cannot doubt, a further hearing would enhance.' It seems that either the first act finale, with its notorious succession of nine high Cs, was omitted, or, perhaps, such feats were regarded far more casually than publicity machines permit nowadays.

Performance Cast

Marquise de Birkenfeld

Madame Ghioni

Marie a foundling

Marietta Piccolomini

Sulpice a sergeant of Grenadiers

Signor Rossi

Tonio a Tyrolean peasant

Signor Belart

Production Cast


Calisto Bassi (Italian)

Performance DatesDaughter of the Regiment 1858

Map List

Queen's Theatre | Edinburgh

22 Sep, 20.00

Theatre Royal, Dunlop Street, Glasgow | Glasgow

23 Sep, 20.00

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