Opera Scotland

Tosca 1919Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Tosca

The senior management of the Royal Carl Rosa Opera Company during the spring tour was headed by two 'Controlling Directors', Mrs Carl Rosa, widow of the founder and Walter van Noorden, who had conducted them in earlier years. The Artistic Director was the experienced bass Arthur Winckworth, still active on stage, and the General Business Manager was Henry Barrett Brandreth. Conducting duties were divided between Henriquez de la Fuente and Herbert Ferrers. By the time of the winter season, a new General Manager was in place, Mr H B Phillips.


Tosca had not previously featured in the Carl Rosa repertoire, but, having revived Bohème and added Butterfly the year before, Puccini was now to be a mainstay of the company's repertoire.

The most arresting feature of this cast must be the teaming of Beatrice Miranda and Hebden Foster as Tosca and Scarpia - there can't be many times when a husband and wife pairing have appeared together in these roles.


An Edinburgh Report

The Scotsman,  Wednesday 12 March 1919  explained that the performance was the first to be given in Edinburgh by the Rosa, although other companies (Moody-Manners and O'Mara) had given it.

'Last night's rendering of the work was in every way worthy of the occasion.  Miss Beatrice Miranda, who was the Tosca, has, to a greater extent than many operatic artists, the faculty of sinking her own personality in the particular character she may happen to represent.  Last night there was a splendid reality in her study of the jealous, devoted singer.  La Tosca's grace and caprice in the church scene were admirably suggested; the tremendous scene with Scarpia, in the second act, was carried through with an emotional intensity which was never allowed to lapse into exaggeration; while the last act, with its swift ascent from what is almost playful to a tragic climax, was equally fine.  Side by side with the dramatic truth of the interpretation was a vocal art which was always a delight.

'The Scarpia of Mr Hebden Foster, sombre and powerful, and with a scrupulous finish of detail; and Mr Hughes Macklin Cavaradossi, free and spirited in action, and as singing always charming, were worthy companion pictures to Miss Miranda's Tosca.  Praise too is due to Mr Frederick Clendon's Sacristan, Mr George Gorst's Angelotti, and Mr A. J. Willard's Spoletta.  Except that Scarpia's room, in the second act, left something to be desired, the mounting of the opera was particularly handsome, the church and castle of St Angelo being fine examples of scenic Art.  Mr De la Fuente conducted."



The cast details for Aberdeen, Tuesday 21 January, are from a programme in Aberdeen City Library, and the identical line-up for Glasgow, Saturday 7 February (evening), from a programme in the Gardiner Collection at the Mitchell Library.  A programme survives too in Edinburgh Central Library for the Lyceum performance on 17 March.

The season consisted of one week at Aberdeen’s His Majesty’s Theatre (AHMT), then one week at Dundee’s Her Majesty’s Theatre (DHMT). There followed four weeks at Glasgow’s Theatre Royal (GTR). Following a break of one week, there were two weeks at Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum (ERL), then later still another two in Glasgow (GTR). Ten weeks, followed by a further three in December to give thirteen. By now, the company were running a number of separate companies, the Phillips section giving the December performances.

w/c Mon Jan 20 Tales of Hoffmann Tue ToscaWed Tannhauser; Thu MignonFri Carmen; Sat m Madam ButterflySat e Faust. AHMT

w/c Mon Jan 27 Tales of Hoffmann; Tue Tannhauser; Wed Faust; Thu Madam Butterfly; Fri Mignon; Sat mTales of Hoffmann; Sat e Trovatore. DHMT 

w/c Mon 3 Feb Tannhauser; Tue BohèmeWed Madam Butterfly; Thu Trovatore; Fri Tosca; Sat m Mignon; Sat e Tales of Hoffmann. GTR 

w/c Mon 10 Feb Cav and Pag; Tue Faust; Wed Carmen; Thu Tales of Hoffmann; Fri Madam Butterfly; Sat m Tosca; Sat e Maritana. GTR

w/c Mon 17 Feb Bohème; Tue Tannhauser; Wed Mignon; Thu Cav and Pag; Fri Don GiovanniSat m Tales of Hoffmann; Sat e Trovatore. GTR

w/c Mon 24 Feb Carmen; Tue Rigoletto; Wed Carmen; Thu Faust; Fri Tannhauser; Sat m Madam Butterfly; Sat e Bohemian Girl. GTR

w/c Mon 3 Mar Company performing in Liverpool

w/c Mon 10 Mar Tales of Hoffmann; Tue Tosca  ; Wed Faust; Thu Madam Butterfly; Fri Don Giovanni; Sat m Cav and Pag; Sat e Maritana. ERL

w/c Mon 17 Mar Tosca; Tue Tales of Hoffmann; Wed Tannhauser; Thu Bohème; Fri Carmen; Sat m Mignon; Sat e Trovatore; ERL

w/c Mon 30 Jun Tales of Hoffmann; Tue Carmen; Wed Mignon; Thu Cav and Pag; Fri Three Masks; Sat m Madam Butterfly; Sat e Faust GTR

w/c Mon 7 Jul Three Masks; Tue Trovatore; Wed Daughter of the Regiment; Thu Carmen; Fri Marriage of Figaro; Sat m Tales of Hoffmann; Sat e Maritana GTR

w/c Mon 1 Dec Tales of Hoffmann; Tue Carmen; Wed Faust; Thu Cav and Pag; Fri Tannhauser; Sat m Romeo and Juliet; Sat e Rigoletto.

w/c Mon 8 Dec Cav and Pag; Tue Trovatore; Wed Romeo and Juliet; Thu Lily of Killarney; Fri Faust; Sat m Traviata; Sat e Tales of Hoffmann.

w/c Mon 15 Dec Carmen; Tue Tannhauser; Wed Maritana; Thu Rigoletto; Fri Romeo and Juliet; Sat m Cavand Pag; Sat e Tales of Hoffmann


Thirteen weeks @seven performances = ninety-one

Thirteen Tales of Hoffmann

Eight Carmen; Tannhauser; Faust

Seven; Madam Butterfly; Cav and Pag

Six Mignon

Five Trovatore; Tosca

Four Cav and Pag; Maritana

Three Bohème; Romeo and Juliet

Two Three Masks; Don Giovanni; Rigoletto

One Marriage of Figaro; Daughter of the Regiment; Bohemian Girl; Traviata; Lily of Killarney.

The cast details for Aberdeen, Tuesday 21 January, are from a programme in Aberdeen City Library, and the identical line-up for Glasgow, Saturday 7 February (evening), from a programme in the Gardiner Collection at the Mitchell Library.  A programme survives too in Edinburgh Central Library for the Lyceum performance on 17 March.

Performance Cast

Cesare Angelotti former Consul, now a political prisoner

George Gorst (Jan 21; Feb 7 e; Mar 17)


Frederick Clendon (Jan 21; Feb 7 e; Mar 17)

Mario Cavaradossi a painter

Hughes Macklin (Jan 21; Feb 7 e; Mar 17)

Floria Tosca a famous singer

Beatrice Miranda (Jan 21; Feb 7 e; Mar 17)

Baron Scarpia Chief of Police

Hebden Foster (Jan 21; Feb 7 e; Mar 17)

Spoletta police agent

Mr A J Willard (Jan 21, Feb 7 e; Mar 17)

Sciarrone police officer

Charles Bloomfield (Jan 21; Feb 7 e; Mar 17)

Shepherd boy

Dorothy Lawson-Taylor (Jan 21, Feb 7 e; Mar 17)


Tom Hamilton (Jan 21; Feb 7 e; Mar 17)

Performance DatesTosca 1919

Map List

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

21 Jan, 19.30

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

7 Feb, 19.15 15 Feb, 14.00

Royal Lyceum Theatre | Edinburgh

11 Mar, 19.15 17 Mar, 19.15

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