Opera Scotland

Pagliacci 1915O'Mara Grand Opera Company

Read more about the opera Pagliacci

Joseph O'Mara himself sang only a select list of roles by now, but Canio had quickly become recognized as a rather special part for a dramatic tenor.


Dundee Press Comment

(General comments that apply to both operas may be found under Cavalleria).


Dundee Advertiser: Wednesday, March 17, 1915

O’Mara Opera Co. - “Cavalleria Rusticana” and “Pagliacci”

'The audience at Her Majesty's Theatre last night was not so large as was that on Monday. In everybody's interest, not forgetting Dundee's, this is to be regretted, as the representations of Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci were characterised by some particular excellences.

'The composer of Pagliacci has had a fine opportunity for dramatic effect in the play scene with which his opera concludes. Very skilfully has he used it. The lightly elegant dance themes employed greatly intensify by force of contrast the tragic import of what is taking place.

'In the last-named opera Mr O'Mara made of Canio a success hardly if at all inferior to his previous night's Don Jose. It would be hard to say whether he more excelled as vocalist or actor. Without pretending to decide the point, it may be said that it is difficult to imagine a more moving rendering of the part. Mr Lewys James as the clown Tonio made the character quite an original study. By slight touches of humour and quiet and significant by-play he left a picture on the mind's eye that will not quickly fade. His fine voice is as rich and fresh as ever, and was splendidly fitted in the Prologue. The Nedda of Miss Rita Wallace was charming in its grace. Her figure suits the part of Columbine; she dances elegantly, and her pure and sweet voice is in perfect keeping with her other attractive qualities.'


Dundee Evening Telegraph & Post: Wednesday, March 17, 1915   (p4)

The O’Mara Opera Company - “Cavalleria Rusticana” and “Pagliacci”

'Miss Rita Wallace undertook the part of Nedda in Pagliacci, and used a light soprano voice with considerable skill in the Bird Song.  Her strong love scene with Silvio was excellent, but she did not make the most of the music in the second act.

'Mr John Olivere, as Silvio, proved himself a baritone of good artistic qualities.

'Mr O’Mara was, as we expected, a fine exponent of the part of Canio in Pagliacci.  As the heart-broken, demented Punchinello he acted with great force and ardour, and his declamatory singing was excellent. Without exaggeration, he touched the chord of hysteria, and “On With the Motley” was sung with strong pathos.  Mr Lewys James made the disappointed clown, Tonio, a sardonic, vengeful fellow.  He declaimed the prologue with emphasis, yet vocally, he was better in the later scene with Nedda. His resonant voice was especially good in broad legato singing.'

Performance Cast

Tonio a player

Lewys James (Mar 16)

Canio leader of the players

Joseph O'Mara (Mar 16)

Nedda Canio's wife

Rita Wallace (Mar 16)

Silvio a villager

John Olivere (Mar 16)

Performance DatesPagliacci 1915

Map List

Her Majesty's Theatre, Dundee | Dundee

16 Mar, 19.15

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