Opera Scotland

Kiss 1949Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Kiss

The Carl Rosa company introduced Smetana's late romance to Liverpool in 1938, but it had to wait until after the war to be seen in Scotland.  Several of these singers played important roles with the company during its last decade of existence, which was just starting.

Cast details are from a programme for 15 April in Aberdeen City Library.


The Critical Opinion

According to a review in the Aberdeen Press & Journal (16 April), the opera 'suffers from the triviality of its story,  or rather stories, for there are two...despite this very definite handicap,  the music is enchanting, much of it in the lightest, gayest mood, and the combined efforts of orchestra, principals, and chorus succeeded in capturing the spirit of liveliness which the opera demands.  Ruth Packer, after a shaky start, developed into a captivating Vendulka... Lukas was played by John Myrddin, and if he has been seen in more satisfying roles, he nevertheless portrayed an exacting part adequately.  The dresses are lavish; many of them are on loan from the National Theatre in Bratislava, and the staging was as colourful and magnificent as any seen in the whole of the Carl Rosa repertoire."

The Scotsman review (6 April) said "Last night's performance was by far the best the Carl Rosa have done so far in Edinburgh.  Everybody was alive and interested, and whatever the musical failings,  the cast seemed to enjoy themselves as they ought.  The sets were attractive, but were quite outshone by some of the costumes, which were apparently loaned from the Bratislava National Theatre."


The Carl Rosa in Scotland - 1949

In 1949, Carl Rosa Opera toured Scotland for seven weeks, giving seven performances each week; two weeks in Edinburgh, one Aberdeen, four Glasgow.   Nine different operas were performed.  The schedule embraced familiar works by Rossini (Barber); Verdi (Trovatore,  Traviata); Gounod (Faust);  Bizet (Carmen);  Puccini (Bohème,  Tosca,   Butterfly). There was one extremely enterprising novelty in the delightful form of The Kiss by Smetana, receiving its Scottish premiere.

Edinburgh, w/c 28 Mar:  Mon 28 Traviata;  Tue 29 Faust;  Wed 30  Bohème;  Thu 31 Carmen;  Fri 1 Apr  Barber;  Sat 2 m Butterfly; Sat 2 e Faust.

Edinburgh,  w/c 4 Apr:  Mon 4 Butterfly;  Tue 5 Kiss;  Wed 6 Carmen;  Thu 7 Bohème; Fri 8 Faust;  Sat 9 m Butterfly; Sat 9 e Faust.

Aberdeen,  w/c 11 Apr:  Mon 11 Faust;  Tue 12 Bohème;  Wed 13 Barber;  Thu 14 Carmen;  Fri 15 Kiss;  Sat 16 m Butterfly;  Sat 16 e Trovatore.

Glasgow,  w/c 18 Apr:  Mon 18 Carmen;  Tue 19 Faust;  Wed 20 Traviata;  Thu 21 Tosca;  Fri 22 Barber;  Sat 23 m Butterfly; Sat 23 e Trovatore.

Glasgow,  W/c 25 Apr:  Mon 25 Faust;  Tue 26 Butterfly;  Wed 27 Kiss;  Thu 28 Bohème;  Fri 29 Carmen;  Sat 30 m Barber;  Sat 30 e Butterfly.

Glasgow,  W/c 2 May:  Mon 2 Bohème;  Tue 3 Carmen;  Wed 4 Tosca; Thu 5 Faust;  Fri 6 Traviata;  Sat 7 m Carmen; Sat 7 e Barber.

Glasgow,  W/c 9 May:  Butterfly;  Tue 10 Trovatore;  Wed 11 Faust;  Thu 12 Carmen;  Fri 13 Kiss;  Sat 14 m Bohème; Sat 14 e Traviata.

Performance Cast

Paloucký an elderly peasant

Donald Campbell

Vendulka daughter of Paloucký

Ruth Packer

Lukáš a young widower

John Myrddin

Tomeš friend and brother-in-law of Lukáš

Arthur Copley

Martinka Vendulka's old aunt

Monica Sinclair

Matous an old smuggler

Bruce Clark

Barce a servant girl

Una Hale

Frontier Guard

Leslie Jones

Performance DatesKiss 1949

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

5 Apr, 19.30

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

15 Apr, 19.30

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

27 Apr, 19.15 13 May, 19.15

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