Opera Scotland

Barbiere di Siviglia 1951Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Barber of Seville

The Carl Rosa week in Aberdeen, commencing Monday 30 April, contained one relative novelty by Wagner, but was otherwise much as usual. The conductors Arthur Hammond and Maurits Sillem would also remain fixtures for several years. It is noticeable that on this occasion the Chorus Master is Alexander Faris, the Repetiteur Edward Downes.  These two would rarely be seen in Scotland again, but they certainly had prominent careers elsewhere.

A review in the Aberdeen Evening Express (7 May) refers to a 'gay performance.  To the sparkle of Rossini's music was added the frolic and often the drollery of gay characterisation'.

'The spirit of Rossini was caught with the first notes of the overture, and Arthur Hammond never allowed orchestra or singers to lose sight of it. Because of this it might be said that it was one of the best-cast operas of the week. There was the impishness of Redvers Llewellyn's Figaro, the wealth of irascible characterisation in voice and mien of Hubert Dunkerly's Doctor Bartolo, the gaminerie of Gita Denise's Rosina, the youthful exuberance of Gwent Lewis' Count Almaviva, the drollery of Donald Campbell's Don Basilio.

Vocally, too, all were at the top of their form, and it would be unfair to single out one as outshining the others, except that it might be said that Gwent Lewis got the opportunity to demonstrate that the company have in him a young tenor of great promise who can play a part as delightfully as he can sing it."

Cast details are from a programme in Aberdeen City Library; largely confirmed by one in the Mitchell.

The company performed for four weeks in Glasgow then one in Aberdeen. The final lap, of two weeks in Edinburgh, was cancelled due to structural work having to take place in the King’s Theatre.

The schedule was as follows:-

w/c Mon 2 Apr Barber; Tue Butterfly; Wed Carmen; Thu Bohème; Fri Dutchman; Sat m Butterfly; Sat e Cav and Pag

w/c Mon 9 Apr Rigoletto; Tue Traviata; Wed Bohème; Thu Faust; Fri Trovatore; Sat m Bohème; Sat e Carmen.

w/c Mon 16 Apr Dutchman; Tue Bohème; Wed Rigoletto; Thu Butterfly; Fri Barber; Sat m Cav and Pag Sat e Traviata

w/c Mon 23 Apr Mon Cav and Pag; Tue Carmen; Wed Butterfly; Thu Traviata; Fri Faust; Sat m Barber; Sat e Trovatore.

w/c Mon 30 Apr Cav and Pag; Tue Rigoletto; Wed Bohème; Thu Carmen; Fri Dutchman; Sat m Butterfly; Sat e Barber.

Apart from Cav and Pag, nine operas were performed.

Performance Cast

Count Almaviva a young nobleman

Gwent Lewis

Bartolo a doctor, Rosina's guardian

Hubert Dunkerley

Rosina Bartolo's ward

Gita Denise

Figaro a barber

Redvers Llewellyn

Arthur Fear (28 Apr)

Don Basilio a singing teacher

Donald Campbell

Fiorello servant of the Count

Frederick Wood

Ambrogio Bartolo's servant

Ernest Thomas

Berta Bartolo's housekeeper

Stella Phillips


Frederick Wood

Production Cast


Arthur Hammond

Maurits Sillem (28 Apr)

Performance DatesBarbiere di Siviglia 1951

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

2 Apr, 19.15 21 Apr, 14.00 28 Apr, 14.00

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

5 May, 19.30

© Copyright Opera Scotland 2024

Site by SiteBuddha