Opera Scotland

Carmen 1952Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Carmen

The review in the Aberdeen Evening News (1 April) is headed  'Aberdeen Flocks to Opera'.

"To greet the Carl Rosa Opera Company Aberdeen packed His Majesty's Theatre last night, and showed an enthusiasm in complete contrast to that of the usually lackadaisical Monday night's audience.  It was a Carmen that drew and excited. Carmen in the original version to which the touring company returned some years ago and to which - rightly so - they have remained faithful.  Rightly so because thereby the dramatic aspect of the story is given better value. Last night's performance was one that grew in stature, probably purposely so as the story moved from the lethargy of the noonday sun of old Seville to the wildness of the mountains and the excitement of the bull-ring.  New to us in the title role was Mona Ross with a voice of fine quality, not robust but always satisfying in tone. It is a part in course of development obviously. It has turbulence and meaning but so far lacks something in exciteability. That is in the making. In complete and essential contrast was Jean Carrol's Micaela, all sweetness and tenderness, alike in voice and playing.  George Chitty's Don Jose was a steady piece of work with its highlight in the 'Flower Song'. Perhap he was too immaculate of garb in the final scene. Robust and confident as usual was Arthur Wallington's Escamillo and the other parts were effectively played and sung. Chorus work varied but the good phases more than compensated for the not so good. Arthur Hammond conducted with his customary lack of histrionics and the corresponding gain in effect. He kept excellent tempo and got from his orchestra much of the sparkle of Bizet's music. In the more sombre moods, too, he was very effective."

The Carl Rosa tour in spring 1952 involved seven weeks in Scotland - one in Aberdeen, two in Edinburgh and four in Glasgow. It was notable for a new piece commissioned for the 1951 Festival of Britain, John Socman by George Lloyd. This was only shown in the central belt, however. 

The full Scottish schedule was as follows:

Aberdeen (His Majesty's) - Week commencing 31 March: Mon Carmen, Tue Rigoletto, Wed Traviata, Thu Faust, Fri Barber of Seville, Sat mat Bohème, Sat eve Trovatore.

Edinburgh (King's) - Week commencing 7 April: Mon Flying Dutchman, Tue Bohème, Wed Barber of Seville, Thu Rigoletto, Fri John Socman, Sat mat Butterfly, Sar eve Faust.

Week commencing Monday 14 April: Mon Cav & Pag, Tue Traviata, Wed Trovatore, Thu Butterfly, Fri Tosca, Sat mat Bohème, Sat eve Carmen.

Glasgow (Theatre Royal) - Week commencing Monday 21 April: Mon Traviata, Tue Bohème, Wed Barber, Thu Dutchman, Fri Rigoletto, Sat mat Butterfly, Sat eve Faust.

W/c Monday 28 April: Mon Barber, Tue Hoffmann, Wed Butterfly, Thu Cav & Pag, Fri Carmen, Sat mat Bohème, Sat eve Trovatore.

Wk/c Monday 5 May: Mon Carmen, Tue Dutchman, Wed Rigoletto, Thu Faust, Fri John Socman, Sat mat Carmen, Sat eve Bohème.

Week commencing Monday 12 May: Mon Butterfly, Tue Tosca, Wed Hoffmann, Thu Trovatore, Fri Traviata, Sat mat Barber, Sat eve Cav & Pag.


Cast details are from a programme for the opening performance in Aberdeen City Library. There is also a programme in the Mitchell library for the performance on 5 May.

Performance Cast

Don José a corporal of dragoons

George Chitty

Escamillo a toreador

Arthur Wallington

Dancaïre a smuggler

Frederick Wood

Remendado a smuggler

Frederick Lloyd

Zuniga a lieutenant of dragoons

Richard Golding

Moralès a corporal of dragoons

Ronald Eddolls

Micaëla a peasant girl

Una Hale

Carmen a gypsy

Mona Ross

Frasquita a gypsy, Carmen’s friend

Edna Graham

Mercédès a gypsy, Carmen’s friend

Emerentia Scheepers

Lillas Pastia an innkeeper

Hubert Dunkerley


Peter Harrison


Catherine O'Hare

Performance DatesCarmen 1952

Map List

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

31 Mar, 19.30

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

19 Apr, 19.30

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

2 May, 19.15 5 May, 19.15 10 May, 14.15

© Copyright Opera Scotland 2022

Site by SiteBuddha