Opera Scotland

Tales of Hoffmann 1920Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Tales of Hoffmann

Around this time, Hoffmann seems to have been a near-permanent fixture in the Carl Rosa repertoire. This Edinburgh performance formed the second evening of the Lyceum visit, following Monday evening's Cav & Pag. Cast details are taken from our copy of the programme for the two evenings. The cast for the earlier Glasgow date is from a programme in the Gardiner Collection at the Mitchell Library.

Eva Turner had already sung Giulietta the previous year, but does not seem to have taken on Antonia until later. While the American soprano Gladys Cranston sang several major roles with the company, she only stayed a couple of seasons. Of far greater long-term importance was the arrival of the conductor Charles Webber. His German experience made him particularly useful as a Wagner interpreter.

The Carl Rosa's spring tour in Scotland in 1920 consisted of eight weeks at the Glasgow Theatre Royal and two at the Edinburgh Lyceum. For May and June the company was elsewhere, returning to Glasgow for a further three weeks through early July. The schedule was as below:

Glasgow first week, commencing 16 February: Mon Carmen, Tue Tannhäuser, Wed Trovatore, Thu Stella Maris, Fri Mignon, Sat mat Tales of Hoffmann, Sat eve Merry Wives of Windsor.

Glasgow second week, commencing 23 February: Mon Faust, Tue Cav & Pag, Wed Rigoletto, Thu Tristan, Fri The Miracle, Sat mat Trovatore, Sat Eve Bohemian Girl.

Glasgow third week, commencing 1 March: Mon Tannhäuser, Tue Carmen, Wed Mignon, Thu Hoffmann, Fri Jewels of the Madonna, Sat mat The Miracle, Sat eve Maritana.

Glasgow fourth week, commencing 8 March: Mon Cav & Pag, Tue Tristan, Wed Faust, Thu Merry Wives, Fri Hoffmann, Sat mat Jewels of the Madonna, Sat eve Trovatore.

Glasgow fifth week, commencing 15 March: Mon Stella Maris, Tue Mignon, Wed Jewels of the Madonna, Thu Rigoletto, Fri Tannhäuser, Sat mat Carmen, Sat eve Hoffmann.

Glasgow sixth week, commencing 22 March: Mon Merry Wives, Tue Trovatore, Wed Hoffmann, Thu Jewels of the Madonna, Fri Faust, Sat mat Cav & Pag, Sat eve Carmen.

Glasgow seventh week, commencing 29 March: Mon Trovatore, Tue Hoffmann, Wed Tannhäuser, Thu Carmen, Fri Maritana, Sat mat Faust, Sat eve Jewels of the Madonna.

Glasgow eighth week, commencing 5 April: Mon Bohemian Girl, Tue Carmen, Wed Jewels of the Madonna, Thu Hoffmann, Fri Lohengrin, Sat mat Mignon, Sat eve Cav & Pag.

Edinburgh first week, commencing 12 April: Mon Cav & Pag, Tue Hoffmann, Wed Jewels of the Madonna, Thu Tannhäuser, Fri The Miracle, Sat mat Carmen, Sat eve Merry Wives.

Edinburgh second week, commencing 19 April: Mon Lohengrin, Tue Mignon, Wed Stella Maris, Thu Faust, Fri Tristan, Sat mat Trovatore, Sat eve Bohemian Girl.

The second Glasgow visit, lasting three weeks, has the look of a brief Puccini Festival, introducing Bohème, Tosca and Butterfly, as well as Traviata and Romeo and Juliet. The schedule was as follows:

Glasgow first week, commencing 28 June: Mon Carmen, Tue Madam Butterfly, Wed Hoffmann, Thu Bohème, Fri Rigoletto, Sat mat Tosca, Sat eve Faust.

Glasgow second week, commencing 5 July: Mon Butterfly, Tue Cav & Pag, Wed Tannhäuser, Thu Traviata, Fri Romeo and Juliet, Sat mat Bohème, Sat eve Traviata.

Glasgow third week, commencing 12 July: Mon Hoffmann, Tue Tosca, Wed Rigoletto, Thu Faust, Fri Bohème, Sat mat Butterfly, Sat eve Maritana.

On Monday 13 December, the company began a four-week Christmas - New Year season in Aberdeen, with a completely different team of performers. The Directors were billed as Mrs Carl Rosa and Walter van Noorden, a former conductor.  The Acting Manager was Edward Taylor and Stage Director Harison Cook. Conductors were Wynn Reeves and John Cope, with Alfeo Turato as their assistant. Several of the singers in this Hoffmann cast enjoyed notable careers with Carl Rosa and other companies, including Constance Willis, Olive Gilbert, Eda Bennie and Appleton Moore.

The casts for December 13 and 25 (matinee) are from programmes in Aberdeen City Library, with a second copy of 13 December in the V&A Collection, London.

Performance Cast

Nicklausse Hoffmann's friend

Gladys Parr (Mar 12; Apr 13)

Constance Willis (Dec 13, 25m)

Nathaniel a student

Cecil Cooke (Mar 12; Apr 13)

Ben Williams (Dec 13)

George Butlin (Dec 25m)

Hermann a student

George Gorst (Mar 12; Apr 13)

Trevor Evans (Dec 13)

Mr L Hodgkinson (Dec 25m)

Luther an innkeeoer

Tom Hamilton (Mar 12; Apr 13)

Tom Emery (Dec 13, 25m)

Hoffmann a poet

William Boland (Mar 12; Apr 13)

Gwynne Davies (Dec 13, 25m)

Olympia a doll

Florence Barron (Mar 12; Apr 13)

Eda Bennie (Dec 13, 25m)

Cochenille Spalanzani's servant

Reginald Gordon (Mar 12; Apr 13)

Albert Felton (Dec 13, 25m)

Spalanzani an Italian inventor

Edward Bonhote (Mar 12; Apr 13)

Ben Williams (Dec 13, 25m)

Coppélius a scientist, Spalanzani's rival

Frederick Clendon (Mar 12; Apr 13)

Appleton Moore (Dec 13, 25m)

Antonia Crespel's daughter

Gladys Cranston (Mar 12; Apr 13)

Eda Bennie (Dec 13, 25m)

Dr Miracle a doctor

Walter Outhwaite (Mar 12)

Kingsley Lark (Apr 13)

Henry Hardy (Dec 13, 25m)

Crespel a councillor of Munich

Frederick Clendon (Mar 12; Apr 13)

Sydney Wells (Dec 13, 25m)

Franz Crespel's servant

John Halliday (Mar 12; Apr 13)

Albert Felton (Dec 13, 25m)

Antonia's mother a spirit voice

Elsbeth Wakefield (Mar 12; Apr 13)

Olive Gilbert (Dec 13, 25m)

Giulietta a courtesan

Eva Turner (Mar 12)

Gladys Cranston (Apr 13)

Annie Wallace (Dec 13, 25m)

Schlemil Giulietta's lover

George Gorst (Mar 12; Apr 13)

Trevor Evans (Dec 13)

Mr L Hodgkinson (Dec 25m)

Pitichinaccio Giulietta's admirer

Cecil Cooke (Mar 12; Apr 13)

Mr S Gibson (Dec 13, 25m)

Dapertutto a sorcerer

Kingsley Lark (Mar 12; Apr 13)

Appleton Moore (Dec 13, 25m)

Production Cast


Charles Webber (Mar 12; Apr 13)

Wynn Reeves (Dec 13)

John Cope (Dec 25m)

Stage Manager

George Beale (Mar 12; Apr 13)

Acting Manager

Edward Taylor (Dec 13, 25m)


Edward Agate

Performance DatesTales of Hoffmann 1920

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

21 Feb, 14.15 4 Mar, 19.15 12 Mar, 19.15 20 Mar, 19.15 24 Mar, 19.15 30 Mar, 19.15 8 Apr, 19.15 30 Jun, 19.15 12 Jul, 19.15

Royal Lyceum Theatre | Edinburgh

13 Apr, 19.15

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

13 Dec, 19.30 25 Dec, 14.15

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