Opera Scotland

Tannhäuser 1895Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Tannhäuser

The Stage, of Thursday, 25 April (p3)  gives a brief account of the opening Glasgow performance: ''The Royal Carl Rosa Opera Company have, through the loss of the Royal,  had their usual spring fortnight season abbreviated by one week,  which was all that the booking of dates at the Royalty would allow;  but for the week they have an exceptionally strong,  varied, and most attractive programme,  including as it does, IvanhoeHansel and Gretel,  and Bastien and Bastienne,  all new here, in addition to the familiar,  but ever welcome  TannhäuserPagliacci and The Bohemian Girl.

'On Monday Tannhäuser was presented before a crowded house,  Mr E C Hedmondt resuming his familiar part.  The distinguished tenor was in capital voice,  and sang with splendid effect the arduous and strenuous music of the part,  while his impassionate acting added greatly to the effect of his singing.  Mdlle Pauline L' Allemonde,  while vocally strong,  lacked something of the dramatic intensity necessary for the satisfactory portrayal of an important Wagnerian rôle like that of Elizabeth.

'Miss Lily Heenan made a capital appearance as Venus,  and Miss Minnie Hunt repeated her charming impersonation of the Shepherd Boy.  Mr Lempriere Pringle as Hermann and Mr Wm Paull as Wolfram were alike excellent in every particular,  and sang their music in cultured and artistic fashion.

'Herr Leo Feld conducted in his customary finished style,  and the ever-varying inflections of Wagner's orchestration were given with delicate appreciation of their value.'

Of the Aberdeen performance, the Press and Journal (30 April) generally praised the artists, but saying 'although the chorus was somewhat weak in sopranos, the tenors and basses fully sustained their share., the 'Pilgrim's Chorus' being specially noticeable for precision and fullness of tone.  The orchestra, although comparatively speaking, small in numbers, gave an excellent account of the heavy work which falls to their share in the opera.  The overture, rather better known than the rest of the opera, was greeted with hearty plaudits,, while the accompaniments, on which so much of the success of all Wagner's compositions depends, were rendered with much discrimination and efficiency.  There was a crowded house last night...

The Edinburgh Evening News (7 May) reviewed the performance of 6 May, saying 'it is an opera that, while affording satisfaction to the cultured few, is equally pleasing to the many in respect to the richness of its melody, the perfect adaptation of the music to the dramatic situation and the conflict between the forces of good and evil, which forms the basis of the story.  The cast was somewhat changed from the last visit of the company, and not quite for the better.  Hedmondt..is an ideal Tannhauser, with that thorough blend of vocal power and dramatic feeling that is necessary to the adequate performance of such a trying part. The Elizabeth of Mdlle Marie Duma was not quite so satisfying.  There was a lack of intensity at times, but the pathetic passages were most feeligly sung, and with great purity of tone....the chorus was effective, but the orchestra, led by Herr Feld, was somewhat unequal, particularly in the playing of the overture, which lacked in breadth and chiaroscuro.  The house was nearly full, and the performance was received with warm demonstrations of approval.'

Carl Rosa Opera’s spring tour consisted of a week in Glasgow, a week in Aberdeen and then two weeks in Edinburgh.  Over the four week period, the company gave 36 performances of eleven operas as follows:-

Royalty Theatre, Glasgow.  w/c 22 April Mon Tannhauser; Tue Ivanhoe; Wed Hansel and Gretel & Pagliacci; Thu m Hansel and Gretel; Thu evg Ivanhoe; Fri Hansel and Gretel & Bastien and Bastienne; Sat m Ivanhoe; Sat evg Bohemian Girl.

Her Majesty’s, Aberdeen.  w/c 29 April Mon Tannhauser, Tue Faust; Wed Bastien and Bastienne & Hansel and Gretel; Thu Carmen; Fri Ivanhoe; Sat m Bastien and Bastienne & Hansel and Gretel; Sat evg Lohengrin.

Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh w/c 6 May Mon Tannhauser; Tue Jeanie Deans; Wed Pagliacci & Hansel and Gretel; Thu Carmen; Fri Ivanhoe; Sat m Bastien and Bastienne & Hansel and Gretel; evg Bohemian Girl.

Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh w/c Mon 13 May Lohengrin; Tue Bastien and Bastienne & Hansel and Gretel; Wed Tannhauser; Thu Ivanhoe; Fri Pagliacci & Hansel and Gretel; Sat e Trovatore.

Carl Rosa Opera returned in November 1893 for two weeks in Glasgow. 

Performance Cast


Lily Heenan (22, 29 Apr; 13 Nov)

Tannhäuser a knight and minnesinger

Charles Hedmondt (22, 29 Apr, 6 May)

Barton McGuckin (13 Nov)

Shepherd boy

Minnie Hunt (22, 29 Apr; 13 Nov)

Wolfram von Eschenbach a knight and minnesinger

William Paull (22, 29 Apr; 13 Nov)

Hermann Landgrave of Thuringia

Lempriere Pringle (22, 29 Apr; 13 Nov)

Walther von der Vogelweide a knight and minnesinger

Frank Wood (29 Apr, 13 Nov)

Heinrich der Schreiber a knight and minnesinger

Mr P Somers (13 Nov)

Biterolf a knight and minnesinger

Denis O'Sullivan (13 Nov)

Reinmar von Zweter a knight and minnesinger

Charles Tilbury (13 Nov)

Elisabeth niece of the Landgrave

Pauline L'Allemand (22 Apr)

Marie Duma (29 April; 6 May)

Alice Esty (13 Nov)

Production Cast


Leo Feld (22 Apr, 6 May)

Richard Eckhold (13 Nov)

Performance DatesTannhäuser 1895

Map List

Royalty, Glasgow | Glasgow

22 Apr, 00.00

Her Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

29 Apr, 00.00

Royal Lyceum Theatre | Edinburgh

6 May, 00.00 15 May, 00.00

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

4 Nov, 00.00 13 Nov, 00.00

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