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Ethelinda is a story of love, honour and betrayal.

Set in 8th Century Brittany, a plot to assassinate two neighbouring kings takes an unexpected turn when the queen’s favourite knight is implicated in the deceit.  Ethelinda’s apparent love for Sir Lionel is too much for King Elver, her husband, to bear.  Having survived the threat on his life (thanks to the Court Fool)  and fearing the worst of betrayals, he sentences her to death.  A distraught Lionel pleads for her life and King Elver is faced with a deadly dilemma.  The story is told amid the ceremony and celebration of life in medieval France from the pomp of a royal household to the dancing of the peasants; the intrigue of conspirators and the overpowering strength of love.

Classical Musicians Scotland and pianist, Derek Clark, will accompany four professional singers in special evening performances introducing Lady Mildred Bowes Lyon Jessup’s opera in the Drawing Room at Glamis Castle.

The renowned composer, Dr Tommy Fowler, who has meticulously researched Mildred’s music, will be in attendance to provide an introduction and answer questions from the audience.  Tickets are now available for these performances, 125 years after Lady Mildred’s opera was performed in Florence. Hurry for your chance to witness this rare historic event as places are limited.


Lady Mildred (Bowes Lyon) Jessup, daughter of the 13th Earl and Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne, and Great-Aunt of HM The Queen, composed an opera which was performed in Florence in April 1894.

Born at Glamis Castle on 6th October 1868, Lady Mildred married Augustus Jessup at her family home in 1890.  In 1893 Augustus purchased Lenzburg Castle in Switzerland, which he lavishly restored and refurbished, installing a music salon for his talented wife, where it is likely she composed her opera. Entitled Ethelinda, it was performed under the nom de plume ‘M. Marion’ in Florence in front of HRH Princess Beatrice, who praised it highly. The identity of the composer was not disclosed until the second night, when in response to enthusiastic calls from the audience, Lady Mildred appeared before the curtain and bowed her acknowledgement. She is believed to have been the first woman on record to compose a successful opera that was performed in public. She died in 1897, aged just 28, of unknown causes (generally assumed to be of tuberculosis), three years before her niece, Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyon (later HM The Queen Mother) was born.

Enjoy a pre-theatre dinner at Glamis Castle prior to the performance.

Available from 5.30pm on the 6th and 7th April.

Booking essential.

Email glamis.castle@entier-services.com to book.

Pre-Theatre Menu