Opera Scotland

Sorcerer 1918D'Oyly Carte Opera Company

Read more about the opera Sorcerer

On this visit to Aberdeen and Dundee, the Wednesday of the second week in each city was devoted to a double bill - the second performance of Trial By Jury, followed by the only one of The Sorcerer.


Two Dundee Reviews

Dundee Advertiser: Thursday, 31 October 1918

Gilbert-Sullivan Opera in Dundee

'The first of the bill at Her Majesty's Theatre last night was a repetition of Trial by Jury, in which mordant skit on things legal Mr Leo Sheffield repeated his very amusing rendering of the Judge.

'The second item was The Sorcerer, one of the early successes of the D'Oyly Carte-Gilbert-Sullivan combination.   Like all the present company's productions, the Sorcerer was brilliantly placed on the stage.   The cast selected assured a fine rendering.   The Aline of Miss Helen Gilliland was a bright and attractive performance, her light soprano voice being heard to much advantage.   Miss Lewis scored another success in her rendering of the stately Lady Sangazure; and Miss Bethell's Mrs Bartlett was a pleasing and amusing study.

'Dr Daly was represented by Mr Sheffield with an easy dignity that suited well the part; the famous “curate” song being a fine example of quiet yet effective art.   If it were only for the Sorcerer of Mr Lytton the opera should receive a frequent hearing.   This actor has a keen perception of the burlesque element in the character, and makes the most of it; while the pace at which he rattles off the patter verses of his chief song is remarkable.   The minor characters, the part-singing and dancing were all more than satisfactory.'


Dundee Evening Telegraph & Post: Thursday, 31 October 1918

The Sorcerer at Her Majesty's Theatre

 'The Sorcerer has in it the germs of many of the Gilbert and Sullivan operas which were to follow it.  It has a delightful freshness and originality of idea, and, as for the music, who could resist “Time was when love and I were well acquainted,”  even after all these years, and as for the heavenly Quintette; shall we ever tire of it?   Mr Lytton as J W Wells was full of humorous doings, and Mr Leo Sheffield's Vicar was a mature and rich study.   In fact, Mr Sheffield was at his best in this part, and “The Pale Young Curate” was a pure delight.   Mr Hobbs as Sir Marmaduke, Mr Wilson as the Notary, and Mr Hugh Blackmore as Alexis were all in capital form.

'Miss Helen Gilliland sings with much sweetness, and the part of Aline suited her admirably.   Special praise is due to Miss Bertha Lewis for her good work as Lady Sangazure, and no less to Miss Catherine Ferguson, whose winning personality made the part of Constance particularly charming.   The choruses and the country dance were warmly encored, and the concerted piece for five voices, “I rejoice that it's decided,” was one of the gems of the evening.

'Trial by Jury was also played, in which Mr James Turnbull made an excellent Defendant, and Mr Leo Sheffield repeated his perfect performance of the learned Judge.'


The cast is assembled from reviews in the Dundee newspapers.

Details of Edinburgh and Glasgow performances to be confirmed.

Performance Cast

Sir Marmaduke Pointdextre an elderly Baronet

Frederick Hobbs (Oct 30)

Alexis of the Grenadier Guards, Sir Marmaduke's Son

Hugh Blackmore (Oct 30)

Dr Daly Vicar of Ploverleigh

Leo Sheffield (Oct 30)


Frank Wilson (Oct 30)

John Wellington Wells of J W Wells & Co., Family Sorcerers

Henry Lytton (Oct 30)

Annabella, Lady Sangazure a Lady of Ancient Lineage

Bertha Lewis (Oct 30)

Aline Lady Sangazure's Daughter, betrothed to Alexis

Helen Gilliland (Oct 30)

Mrs Partlet a Pew-Opener

Anna Bethell (Oct 30)

Constance Mrs Partlet's Daughter

Catherine Ferguson (Oct 30)

Performance DatesSorcerer 1918

Map List

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

16 Oct, 19.30

Her Majesty's Theatre, Dundee | Dundee

30 Oct, 19.30

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