Opera Scotland

Gondoliers 1918D'Oyly Carte Opera Company

Read more about the opera Gondoliers

On the two-week visits to Aberdeen and Dundee The Gondoliers was seen twice at each venue. In the first of the weeks it opened on Wednesday, and it made a popular piece with which to end the visit on the second Saturday night.

The first performance in Dundee saw some enforced cast changes, in that the lead tenor Edward McKeown, and a soprano soloist, Ella Quartly, had both contracted the 'Spanish' influenza - a matter of grave concern, since this now notorious pandemic eventually killed more people than the First World War.


A Dundee Review

Dundee Courier & Argus:  Thursday, 24 October 1918

Her Majesty's Theatre - The Gondoliers

'The walls of Her Majesty's Theatre must have been strained last night to accommodate the huge audience that wanted to hear and see The Gondoliers.  The present engagement of the D'Oyly Carte Company is to be a record one and even a fortnight is all too short for the admirers of Savoy opera.  It is good to feel that, in spite of the stress of the times, the taste for pure music and clever comedy, so far from fading, seems to be on the increase.

'Last night's performance suffered from the prevailing influenza.  Mr M'Keown, the leading tenor, was off, and his place was taken by Mr Hugh Blackmore.  That delightful artiste, Miss Ella Quartly, was also indisposed, and Miss Doris Russell deputised for her as Vittoria.  Still the performance was thoroughly enjoyable and thoroughly enjoyed, for encores were numerous, as they have been all through the week.

'Mr Lytton's Duke is one of his best parts.  It is clearly-cut and full of dignity, and his dancing is always a treat.  Mr Sheffield's Grand Inquisitor has a charm of its own.  It is by no means a copy of his famous predecessor, whose loss we all lament, but has many fine and fresh points.  Miss Bertha Lewis, as the Duchess, sang with rare force and acted with commanding dignity and grace.  Miss Phyllis Dicksee made a vocally effective Gianetta, her "Kind Sir" song being one of the happiest numbers, and Miss Catherine Ferguson made a merry Tessa.   Miss Helen Gilliland sang the music of Casilda very sweetly, and Miss Amy Royston made a strongly dramatic Inez.

'Mr Blackmore, like the experienced artiste he is, did excellently well as Marco, singing “Sparkling Eyes” with appropriate fervour, and Mr Hobbs was a gallant and effective Giuseppe. The concerted numbers went extremely well, and chorus and band were at their best.'


Cast details are from reviews in the Dundee Advertiser and the Dundee Courier & Argus.

Edinburgh and Glasgow dates to be confirmed.

Performance Cast

Vittoria a Contadina

Ella Quartly (Oct 9, 19)

Doris Russell (Oct 23)

Marco Palmieri a Venetian Gondolier

Edward McKeown (Oct 9, 19)

Hugh Blackmore (Oct 23)

Giuseppe Palmieri a Venetian Gondolier

Frederick Hobbs (Oct 9, 19, 23)

Tessa a Contadina

Catherine Ferguson (Oct 9, 19, 23)

Gianetta a Contadina

Phyllis Dicksee (Oct 9, 19, 23)

Duke of Plaza-Toro a Grandee of Spain

Henry Lytton (Oct 9, 19, 23)

Duchess of Plaza-Toro

Bertha Lewis (Oct 9, 19, 23)

Casilda daughter of the Duke and Duchess

Helen Gilliland (Oct 9, 19, 23)

Don Alhambra del Bolero the Grand Inquisitor

Leo Sheffield (Oct 9, 19, 23)

Inez the King's Foster-mother

Amy Royston (Oct 9, 19, 23)

Production Cast


Walter Hann (Oct 9, 19, 23; Nov 2)

Stage Director

Mr J M Gordon

Performance DatesGondoliers 1918

Map List

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

9 Oct, 19.30 19 Oct, 19.30

Her Majesty's Theatre, Dundee | Dundee

23 Oct, 19.30 2 Nov, 19.30

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