Opera Scotland

Faust 1914Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Faust

This two week visit to the Edinburgh Lyceum by the Royal Carl Rosa Opera began on Monday, 16 February 1914, and was the last before the outbreak of war. Edward Davies and Arthur Winckworth were singing roles they had previously done together in 1907. The Australian Pauline Donnan was a new arrival.

The cast for this performance of Faust, given on the first Saturday evening, is from the OperaScotland copy of the programme, confirmed by Monday's Scotsman review. The programme also gives details of the matinee performance of Tales of Hoffmann.

The second week's programme was Mon Tales of Hoffmann; Tue Marriage of Figaro; Wed Tannhäuser; Thu Magic Flute; Fri Tales of Hoffmann; Sat mat Jewels of the Madonna; Sat eve Trovatore.

A footnote states 'The magnificent Pipe Organ carried by the Company, manufactured by the Positive Organ Co.'



In Edinburgh

Scotsman:  Monday, 23 February 1914  (p6)

Faust at the Lyceum Theatre

'Although Saturday night is not commonly a great occasion for the gathering of opera lovers, Gounod's Faust, thanks to its romantic human interest and the beauty of its music, can always be calculated to draw out to the Lyceum Theatre a crowded attendance.  This was only just, because the performances of the Carl rosa Company during the past week, from Hoffmann onwards,  have been both in the singing of the artists and the general mise-en-ecène of exceptional excellence.  The piece was beautifully staged.

'Mr Edward Davies in the title-role acted with distinction and sang with admirable tone and tension in what is essentially a romantic part.  He achieved the usual success in such melodies as ''All Hail, Thou Dwelling Pure and Lowly,'' and in ''Let me Gaze.''  Gounod's masterpiece lends itself to distinction in the chief parts and it is difficult to mention them all.  Mr Arthur Winckworth, whose association with the Carl Rosa Company goes back a long way now,  was in his usual role of Mephistopheles, highly coloured in dress, sardonic in humour, and musically efficient, as his finely dramatic rendering of the ''Calf of Gold'' proved.

'Some pretty work was done by Miss Pauline Donnan as Marguerite, the ;;Jewel Song'' being received with the usual acclamation.  She is a light soprano, with good acting capacity.  The Siebel of Miss Phyllis davies was nicely played and sung, ''Gentle Flowers'' earning the usual applause.  Miss jean Douglas Wilson, an Edinburgh Singer, rendered the part of Martha with humour, and vocally took her part in the garden scene with distinction.  Mr Frank Clarke was a good Valentine,  ''Even Bravest Heart'' being warmly received.  Mr Mostyn Bell, as Wagner, completed a cast that was of excellent standard as a whole, and the merits of which were generously acknowledged from time to time by what was, especially in the higher-class seats, a large and encouraging audience.'


Carl Rosa in Scotland - 1914

The 1914 season was unusual in that it was restricted to five weeks in total, and all those in the central belt.   One week at Greenock (King's), and two in Edinburgh (Lyceum), were followed by two in Glasgow (Theatre Royal).

The somewhat reduced repertoire consited of twelve operas in all.  These were by Mozart (Marriage of Figaro,  Magic Flute);  Wallace (Maritana);  Wagner (Tannhäuser,  Lohengrin);  Verdi (Trovatore Aïda);  Thomas (Mignon);  Gounod (Faust)  Offenbach  (Tales of Hoffmann);  Bizet (Carmen);  Wolf-Ferrari (Jewels of the Madonna).

The five-week tour schedule was as follows:

Greenock:  w/c 9 February:   Mon 9  Magic Flute;  Tue 10  Carmen;  Wed 11  Tales of Hoffmann;  Thu 12  Trovatore;  Fri 13  Jewels of the Madonna;  Sat 14 m  Tannhäuser;   Sat 14 e  Maritana.

Edinburgh:  w/c 16 February:  Mon 16 Tales of Hoffmann;  Tue 17 Carmen;  Wed 18 Lohengrin;  Thu 19 Mignon;  Fri  20 Jewels of the Madonna;  Sat 21 m Tales of Hoffmann;  Sat 21 e Faust.

Edinburgh: w/c 23 February:  Mon 23 Tales of Hoffmann;  Tue 24 Marriage of Figaro;  Wed 25 Tannhäuser;  Thu 26 Magic Flute;  Fri 27 Tales of Hoffmann;  Sat 28 m Jewels of the Madonna;  Sat 28 e Trovatore.

Glasgow:  w/c 2 March;  Mon 2 Tales of Hoffmann;  Tue 3 Mignon;  Wed 4 Tannhäuser;  Thu 5 Jewels of the Madonna;  Fri 6 Magic Flute; Sat 7 m Tales of Hoffmann;  Sat 7 e  Trovatore.

Glasgow:  w/c 9 March:  Mon 9 Carmen;  Tue 10 Marriage of Figaro;  Wed 11 Tales of Hoffmann;  Thu 12 Maritana;  Fri  13 Aïda;  Sat 14 m Faust;  Sat 14 e Tales of Hoffmann

Performance Cast

Faust a learned doctor

Edward Davies (Feb 21 e)

Méphistophélès the devil

Arthur Winckworth (Feb 21 e)

Valentin Marguerite's brother

Frank Clarke (Feb 21 e)

Wagner a student of Dr Faust

Mostyn Bell (Feb 21 e)


Pauline Donnan (Feb 21 e)

Siébel a student of Dr Faust, in love with Marguerite

Phyllis Davies (Feb 21 e)

Marthe a neighbour

Jean Douglas-Wilson (Feb 21 e)

Performance DatesFaust 1914

Map List

Royal Lyceum Theatre | Edinburgh

21 Feb, 19.15

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

14 Mar, 14.00

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