Opera Scotland

Tales of Hoffmann 1910Beecham Opera Comique Company

Read more about the opera Tales of Hoffmann

These performances were given by  the Thomas Beecham Opera Comique Company. Beecham himself did not appear, and had chosen Thomas Quinlan as manager for an extensive tour of the provinces. The repertoire consisted of two works, both, it seems, receiving Scottish premieres. The Tales of Hoffmann appeared on Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday evenings, plus the Wednesday matinee. The other piece was Die Fledermaus, under thr title A Viennese Masquerade - it was played on Wednesday and Thursday evenings and the Saturday matinee.

A noticeable feature of the casting is the presence of Scottish composer Hamish MacCunn on the podium. Caroline Hatchard appeared in several light soprano roles in the Covent Garden and Denhof Rings, and Scott Russell had spent several years as a leading tenor with D'Oyly Carte.

The question of performing edition remains controversial with this opera, though much research has been done in recent years. On this occasion, as was usual at the time, the prologue and epilogue were substantially cut, so Hoffmann's real love, the opera singer Stella, does not appear at all. Nor do her protector Lindorf or servant Andres. The acts are played with Olympia first, as expected, but followed by the Venetian scene, with Giulietta, and ending with Antonia. This was standard practice until quite recently. The programme states that 'The famous Barcarolle will be played by the Orchestra after Act 3' - In other words it was separated from its natural setting in Venice, and played by the orchestra after the death of Antonia, and without the vocal duet (usually Giulietta and Nicklausse).

The cast is taken from a programme for the Wednesday matinee, 2 November, in the Weir collection at the National Library of Scotland.

Performance Cast

Nicklausse Hoffmann's friend

Ruby Gray

Nathaniel a student

Henry Thompson

Hermann a student

Reginald Foale

Luther an innkeeoer

Francis Pater

Hoffmann a poet

John Bardsley

Olympia a doll

Caroline Hatchard

Spalanzani an Italian inventor

Mr M R Morand

Cochenille Spalanzani's servant

H Scott Russell

Coppélius a scientist, Spalanzani's rival

Charles Magrath

Antonia Crespel's daughter

Edith Evans

Crespel a councillor of Munich

Frederick Ranalow

Franz Crespel's servant

H Scott Russell

Dr Miracle a doctor

Charles Magrath

Antonia's mother a spirit voice

Isabel Brontë

Giulietta a courtesan

Edith Evans

Schlemil Giulietta's lover

Cecil Pearson

Pitichinaccio Giulietta's admirer

H Scott Russell

Dapertutto a sorcerer

Mr W J Samuell

Performance DatesTales of Hoffmann 1910

Map List

King's Theatre, Glasgow | Glasgow

17 Oct, 19.30 18 Oct, 19.30 19 Oct, 14.00 21 Oct, 19.30 22 Oct, 19.30 26 Oct, 19.30 27 Oct, 19.30 28 Oct, 19.30 29 Oct, 14.00

Royal Lyceum Theatre | Edinburgh

31 Oct, 19.30 1 Nov, 19.30 2 Nov, 14.00 4 Nov, 19.30 5 Nov, 19.30

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