Opera Scotland

Madam Butterfly 1950Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Madama Butterfly

The Scotsman reviewer (5 April) said "The Carl Rosa production has the virtues of an artistic setting, and there is in Ruth Packer a Butterfly of impressive quality. Miss Packer is taller than the ideal Butterfly should be or than most Butterflys are, but not only is she gifted with a voice eloquent in its tone and with a diction which even against a full orchestra, is at times admirably clear, but she also has powers of expression not always possessed by the operatic star.  The manner in which she impulsively snatched Pinkerton's letter from Sharpless was only one instance of her abolity in this respect. In other ways also she made Butterfly's not particularly interesting personality live for us withsufficient individuality to interest us in her tragedy. Her singing of the famous 'One Fine Day' was faultlessly done, and the duet with Sharpless in the second act extremely effective."

"John Myrrdin's Pinkerton, which it is even more difficult for an actor deeply to interest us in, was put on with an air of manliness which immensely helped to atone for some of the deficiencies of a leading character who is not a particularly pleasant personand who, incidentally, is absent from the stage for at least a third of the time.... Barbara Howitt, who is a good contralto, brought to Suzuki the right sort of atmosphere, and Arthur Copley as Sharpless used his rich voice with commendable clarity.

The orchestra, under David Andrews, gloried in the curves and loops of Puccini's music, and Butterfly's baby, carefully placed with its face obscured from the audience, was not too patently inanimate."

The cast is drawn from a surviving programe in thearchives of Edinburgh Central Library.

The 1950 tour of Scotland by Carl Rosa consisted of two weeks in Edinburgh and four in Glasgow.

Edinburgh w/c Mon 27 Mar Cav and Pag; Tue Traviata; Wed Faust; Thu Tosca; Fri Rigoletto; Sat m Butterfly; Sat e Barber of Seville

Edinburgh w/c Mon 4 Apr Bohème; Tue Butterfly; Wed Carmen; Thu Barber; Fri Cav and Pag; Sat m Bohème; Sat e Barber.

Glasgow w/c Mon 10 Apr Cav and Pag; Tue Bohème; Wed Carmen; Thu Traviata; Fri Rigoletto; Sat m Butterfly; Sat e Faust.

Glasgow w/c Mon 17 Apr Butterfly; Tue Barber; Wed Bohème; Thu Faust; Fri Cav and Pag; Sat m Carmen; Sat e Butterfly.

Glasgow w/c Mon 24 Apr Carmen; Tue Traviata; Wed Rigoletto; Thu Tosca; Fri Faust; Sat m Barber; Sat e Bohème;

Glasgow w/c Mon 1 May Rigoletto; Tue Water Carrier; Wed Butterfly; Thu Cav and Pag; Fri Water Carrier; Sat m Bohème; Sat e Carmen.

 Six weeks of seven performances.

Performance Cast

Kate Pinkerton

Betty McKay

Prince Yamadori

Ernest Thomas

Bonze a priest, Cio-Cio-San's uncle

Ernest Thomas

Imperial Commissioner

Bruce Clark

Goro marriage broker

Liddell Peddieson

Suzuki Cio-Cio-San's servant

Barbara Howitt

Sharpless U S Consul in Nagasaki

Arthur Copley

Lieutenant F B Pinkerton U S Navy

John Myrddin

Cio-Cio-San known as Madam Butterfly

Ruth Packer

Production Cast


David Andrews

Performance DatesMadam Butterfly 1950

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

1 Apr, 14.30 4 Apr, 19.30

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

15 Apr, 14.00 17 Apr, 19.15 22 Apr, 19.15 3 May, 19.15

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