Opera Scotland

Traviata 1919Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Traviata

It is fascinating to see how underappreciated La Traviata was in its early decades, both by public and press, at least in Britain.  It is really only since the Second World War that it has been at last recognised as a very special work, which may even be the most genuinely popular of Verdi's operas.

The cast is interesting because of the fact that several characters are omitted, not just messengers and servants, but Gaston and d'Obigny too. It seems unlikely that they would have been cut out, but their brief solos in the two party scenes may well have been sung by choristers, even changing around at short notice.  Perhaps this is one result of the long years of war just ending, and the flu pandemic that followed it.  The recruitment of young men with good voices and some acting ability cannot have been straightforward.


The Glasgow Verdict

The Glasgow Herald, Monday,  15 December 1919.

'La traviata recalls the operatic past when the prima donna shone with undimmed lustre, regardless of considerations to which Verdi paid more respect in the later works.  The music set for Violetta is kept alive by the great sopranos of the concert platform, but there are few opportunities of hearing it sung in its natural environment.  After all, it is the only feature of the opera that makes its revival worth while.

'The Phillips section of the Carl Rosa Company at the King's Theatre, Glasgow, on Saturday afternoon gave a performance which rose well above the level of their attainments in some of the operas that have figured in their bill.  Miss Gladys Seager may not act the part of Violetta as well as some of her distinguished predecessors, but she gave a delightful rendering of the music, meeting its exacting demands without any apparent difficulty, and preserving throughout the fine lyrical quality of voice that was so effectively displayed in 'Ah fors' è lui'.  Mr Furnesss Williams as the lover Alfred had a part which suited him well and he sang very acceptably.  It was a pleasure also to hear Mr Hubert Dunkerly do himself justice as Germont.

'The small parts were capably filled.  The orchestra played smoothly the old-fashioned vamping accompaniment, under the direction of Mr Orry Corjeag, who made the most of the few opportunities for grandiose effect that the score allows.  The performance was enjoyed by a large audience.'


Carl Rosa Scottish Tours - 1919

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 in Greenock (King's Theatre), there were two weeks at Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum (ERL), then later still another two in Glasgow (GTR). Ten weeks in total, 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 Tannhäuser; Thu MignonFri Carmen; Sat m Madam ButterflySat e Faust. AHMT

w/c Mon Jan 27 Tales of Hoffmann; Tue Tannhäuser; Wed Faust; Thu Madam Butterfly; Fri Mignon; Sat m Tales 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 Tannhäuser; Wed Mignon; Thu Cav & 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 & Pag; Sat e Maritana. ERL

w/c Mon 17 Mar Tosca; Tue Tales of Hoffmann; Wed Tannhäuser; 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 & 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 & 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 Tannhäuser; Wed Maritana; Thu Rigoletto; Fri Romeo and Juliet; Sat m Cav 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

Performance Cast

Violetta Valéry a courtesan

Gladys Seager (Dec 13 m)

Baron Douphol Violetta's protector, a rival of Alfredo

Herbert Talbot (Dec 13 m)

Doctor Grenvil

William Minette (Dec 13 m)

Flora Bervoix Violetta's friend

May Watson (Dec 13 m)

Alfredo Germont Gaston's friend

Furness Williams (Dec 13 m)

Annina Violetta's maid

Eveline Bailey (Dec 13 m)

Giorgio Germont Alfredo's father

Hubert Dunkerley (Dec 13 m)

Performance DatesTraviata 1919

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

13 Dec, 14.00

© Copyright Opera Scotland 2024

Site by SiteBuddha