Opera Scotland

Tosca 1917O'Mara Grand Opera Company

Read more about the opera Tosca

Tosca's increasing popularity meant that it was seen in both northern cities on the spring tour. When the company returned in the autumn, they played it in the central belt venues (Glasgow date to be confirmed).

Cast details are taken from the Dundee Advertiser and Dundee Courier & Argus for Saturday, 31 March


Dundee Press Opinion

Dundee Advertiser: Saturday, March 31, 1917

O’Mara Opera “Tosca”

'Last night the Joseph O'Mara Opera Company presented Puccini's very successful Tosca at Her Majesty's Theatre. As the name suggests, Tosca is an operatic version of the drama La Tosca by Sardou, and Puccini has certainly chosen for his subject an admirably constructed drama, although he has been accused, not unjustly, of having chosen something not altogether suited to the medium of music. Puccini, however, pays little attention to such criticism. He seems, indeed, to be rather fond of rendering modern adventure stories into grand opera, and the popularity of his plan has never been in doubt.

'With regard to La Tosca, when it was first produced by Sardou it was strongly condemned, especially for the torture scene, which contained too much realism for the modern playgoer to swallow.  Puccini, however, has translated the drama into music very cleverly, skilfully toning down its less agreeable aspects, and clouding them over by vocal and instrumental music.  In the treatment of the torture scene, for example, he might well have been pardoned for using robust and direct methods, but Mario, much to the comfort of the spectator, is let down easily.

'Throughout the opera, apart from this softening of Sardou's effects, the music is very striking and very characteristic, so much so that every now and again there are distant reminiscences of some of Puccini's other works.  Especially is this the case with the theme in the third act, which at once brought to mind the unseen chorus in the last act of Madam Butterfly.  But such things are only details in a very fascinating production, for Tosca is full of interest, containing as it does two characters of singular dramatic force, Tosca herself and Scarpia. These two characters Puccini has rendered so faithfully that they demand not only fine singing, but exceptional acting.

'Scarpia, as played by Mr Flintoff Moore, was an admirable study, full of distinction, and the Tosca of Miss Florence Morden was a sheer triumph. The charm of her acting and the perfection of her singing, which were fully apparent in Madam Butterfly, again won universal admiration.  In the first act in the chapel the lighter scenes were played in brilliant fashion, whilst the intensity of the scene in which she murders Scarpia was wonderfully portrayed.

'Mr Joseph O'Mara, who appeared for the first time in the week, was rapturously received as Mario.  The part gives Mr O'Mara plenty of opportunity for his fine dramatic gifts and his splendid voice.  In the last act especially he excelled, lending infinite distinction to a scene which might otherwise have fallen flat.  Mr Ryan as Angelotti played consistently well, and Mr Griffin showed real individuality in the part of the Sacristan.

'The visit of the O'Mara Opera Company to Dundee will conclude to-night with a matinée performance of Gounod's Faust, and an evening performance of Benedict's The Lily of Killarney. In Faust the leading attraction will be Miss Florence Morden in the part of Marguerite, and in The Lily of Killarney Mr Joseph O'Mara in the part of Myles na Coppaleen.'


Dundee Courier & Argus: Saturday, March 31, 1917    (p4)

“La Tosca”

'The performance of Puccini's opera La Tosca attracted the best of the audiences of the week to Her Majesty's Theatre.  It is the most modern of the operas presented and it is a vivid inspiring example of the Italian school.  Some of us may object to the striking presentment of the crucifix in the second act while Scarpia practically seduces La Tosca, but no one can deny the careful presentation of the work and the brilliance of the singing and acting of the chief artistes.

'La Tosca is not a pleasant opera.  Its strength is in the tragic story of La Tosca herself, who is wanted by Baron Scarpia, in whose hands is her lover's life. Torture, physical and mental, follows, and in the end the wily Scarpia tricks both lovers without earning any reward except the satisfaction of his own cleverness.

'Miss Florence Morden made a magnificent appearance as La Tosca, singing and acting brilliantly.  Mr Joseph O'Mara, making his first appearance for the week, sang with great warmth and fervour as Cavaradossi, and Mr Flintoff Moore, a little lacking in venom, sang delightfully as Scarpia.

'This afternoon Gounod’s ever-popular Faust will be played with a wonderful cast, which includes Miss Morden as Marguerite, Mr O’Mara himself as Faust and Mr Anderson as Méphistophélès.  In the evening Sir Julius Benedict’s The Lily of Killarney will be played, the chief rôles being filled by Miss Jean Gibson, Mr O’Dempsey, Mr O’Mara, and Mr Flintoff Moore.'

Performance Cast

Cesare Angelotti former Consul, now a political prisoner

Jay Ryan (Mar 30)


Joseph Griffin (Mar 30)

Mario Cavaradossi a painter

Joseph O'Mara (Mar 30)

Floria Tosca a famous singer

Florence Morden (Mar 30)

Baron Scarpia Chief of Police

Flintoff Moore (Mar 30)

Performance DatesTosca 1917

Map List

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

23 Mar, 19.15

Her Majesty's Theatre, Dundee | Dundee

30 Mar, 19.15

Royal Lyceum Theatre | Edinburgh

25 Oct, 19.15

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