Opera Scotland

Don Giovanni 1934Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Don Giovanni

According to the Scotsman (19 April) "the work of the company presented itself on a new plane of excellence with a sterling production of Mox=zart's Don Giovanni, which does not seem to have been heard here for fifteen years".

'There is perhaps no opera which is so difficult, or indeed, so difficult to do really well. It abounds in problems for conductor, producer, and singers, and as with all Mozart's music, there is no possibility of covering up faults of performance.

The Don Giovanni of Mr Leyland White was a fine performance...one ws reminded that Don Giovanni, though a scoundrel, was a brave man and an aristocrat. The Leporello of Mr Ronald Stear was also good, There was fine bass singing,and a sprit of comedy that never ran into excess.

The staging was always artistic, with fine effects of lighting. And the difficulties of an impressive statue, and the disposal of Don Giovanni at the end of the opera, were skillfully overcome. One has seen various methods of getting rid of the dissolute hero employed. Last night he vanished with dramatic suddenness under cover of a blinding flash of flame. Contrary to what had been seen here on other occasions, the final scene of the opera, after the disappearance of the hero, was retained. The revival had obviously attracted considerable attention among the musical public of Edinburgh, for there was a large and very enthusiastic audience".

The Carl Rosa's Scottish tour in the spring of 1934 began with two weeks at the Glasgow Theatre Royal, followed by one each at His Majesty's, Aberdeen and the King's Edinburgh.

The performance schedule was as follows:

First week (Glasgow), commencing 26 March: Mon Fledermaus; Tue Barber of Seville; Wed Cav & Pag; Thu Carmen; Fri Fledermaus; Sat mat Butterfly, Sat eve Faust.

Second week, commencing 2 April: Mon Barber; Tue Trovatore; Wed Carmen; Thu Don Giovanni; Fri Madam Butterfly; Sat mat Fledermaus; Sat eve Maritana.

Third week (Aberdeen), commencing 9 April: Mon Fledermaus; Tue Cav & Pag; Wed Carmen; Thu Faust; Fri Barber; Sat mat Fledermaus; Sat eve Maritana.

Fourth week (Edinburgh), commencing 16 April: Mon Fledermaus; Tue Carmen; Wed Don Giovanni; Thu Fledermaus; Fri Barber; Sat mat Faust; Sat eve Maritana.

This hugely important work was only given two performances during a four-week tour. Perhaps the most interesting feature of the casting is the two ladies - Helen Ogilvie had a heavier repertoire than Mabel Baker and might have been expected to appear as Donna Anna.

Cast details for Thursday 5 April are taken from a programme in the Gardiner Collection (Mitchell Library) which also includes details of the previous evening's Carmen.

There were two performances of that venerable double bill, Cav and Pag. Eight other operas were presented during the tour.

Performance Cast

Leporello Giovanni's servant

Ronald Stear

Donna Anna the Commendatore's daughter

Mabel Baker

Don Giovanni a young nobleman

Leyland White

Commendatore an elderly aristocrat

Charles Draper

Don Ottavio engaged to Anna

Ivor John

Donna Elvira a lady from Burgos

Helen Ogilvie

Zerlina a peasant girl

Pauline Maunder

Masetto a peasant, engaged to Zerlina

Howell Glynne

Performance DatesDon Giovanni 1934

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

5 Apr, 19.30

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

18 Apr, 19.30

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