Opera Scotland

Tannhäuser 1896Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Tannhäuser

On the two week visit to Edinburgh beginning 16 November, of the 14 shows, five were of Wagner works, with three performances of Tannhäuser, including the opening night, joined by The Mastersingers and The Valkyrie. The fact that these performances started at the usual hour indicates two things, firstly that intervals were much shorter than we are accustomed to today (if you wanted to eat or drink during the performance, then you sat in a box). Also, a habit arose, which continued to be observed until very recent times, whereby most operas, and not just Wagner, were cut to fit the time available for their performance.

The casts shown are as advertised, varied in accordance with reviews (Herald 24 Apr and 2 Nov), a programme for 21 Nov in the NLS collection and programmes for 23 and 28 April in the Mitchell Library.21 November.  There is also one in Edinburgh Central Library for the performance dated 21 November.   

This visit shows some singers, such as the Irish baritone Willam Ludwig, coming to the end of illustrious careers. Mr Beale, a small-part singer in the past, is prompter and librarian. By contrast, Arthur Winckworth, one of the dominant singers of the next twenty-five years, was just starting his career. The tenor Philip Brozel had a useful career on the continent, including work at Bayreuth. And the young mezzo-soprano Louise Kirkby Lunn, who appears in Mastersingers, Faust and Valkyrie was one of the greatest mezzos of the age, working several times at the New York Met. It appears that Charles Hedmondt and two other soloists, sang at all performances.

The programme for the two weeks was:

Week commencing Nov 16: Mon Tannhäuser; Tue Carmen; Wed Cav & Pag; Thu Mastersingers; Fri Don Giovanni; Sat mat Tannhäuser; Sat eve Faust.

Week commencing Nov 23: Mon Mignon; Tue Romeo and Juliet; Wed Valkyrie; Thu Faust; Fri Tannhäuser; Sat mat Don Giovanni; Sat eve Romeo and Juliet.

Seat prices for this visit were as follows:- Boxes £3 3s; Dress Circle 7s 6d; Orchestra Stalls 6s; Amphitheatre Stalls 4s; Pit Stalls 2s 6d; Amphitheatre 1s 6d; Gallery 1s.

Performance Cast


Lily Heenan (Apr 23, 28; May 11)

Lillie Williams (Nov 2, 21, 27)

Tannhäuser a knight and minnesinger

Charles Hedmondt

Shepherd boy

Minnie Hunt (Apr 23, 28; May 11)

Miss Macintyre (Nov 2, 21, 27)

Hermann Landgrave of Thuringia

Lempriere Pringle (Apr 23, 28)

Arthur Winckworth (May 11; Nov 16, 27)

Charles Tilbury (Nov 2, 21)

Wolfram von Eschenbach a knight and minnesinger

Alec Marsh (Apr 23, 28; May 5, 11; Nov 2)

William Ludwig (May 14; Nov 21)

William Paull (Nov 27)

Walther von der Vogelweide a knight and minnesinger

Frank Wood

Heinrich der Schreiber a knight and minnesinger

Mr P Somers (Apr 23, 28; May 11; Nov 16, 27)

William Gillard (Nov 21)

Biterolf a knight and minnesinger

Homer Lind

Reinmar von Zweter a knight and minnesinger

Charles Tilbury (Apr 23, 28; May 11)

George Fox (Nov 21, 27)

Elisabeth niece of the Landgrave

Maude Rondé (Apr 23, 28)

Ella Russell (May 5, 11, 14)

Alice Esty (May 9, Nov 21)

Rita Elandi (Nov 2, 16, 27)

Performance DatesTannhäuser 1896

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

23 Apr, 19.30 28 Apr, 19.30 2 Nov, 19.30 10 Nov, 19.30

Royal Lyceum Theatre | Edinburgh

5 May, 19.30 9 May, 14.00 11 May, 19.30 14 May, 19.30 16 Nov, 19.30 21 Nov, 14.00 27 Nov, 19.30

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