Opera Scotland

Rosenkavalier 1913Denhof Opera Company

Read more about the opera Rosenkavalier

The astonishing phenomenon that was the Edinburgh-based Denhof Opera Company received great critical acclaim for their ambitious repertoire and high standard of presentation. Sadly, audience numbers were sometimes disappointing (especially in Manchester). This season saw the Scottish premieres of Der Rosenkavalier and Pelléas et Mélisande, with further performances of Elektra, brought back from the 1912 tseason. Conducting duties on the tour were shared between Thomas Beecham (who conducted Mastersingers, Tristan, his first Ring cycles and Magic Flute) and his assistant, Hans Schilling-Ziemssen. The Liverpool programme lists the company's ancillary staff, with promising young Scottish composer Cecil Coles among the musical assistants. He was later to be killed on the Western Front.

Repertoire for the Manchester week, commencing Monday 29 September was Mon: Rosenkavalier; Tue Tristan; Wed Magic Flute; Thu Pelléas; Fri Elektra; Sat mat Rosenkavalier and Sat eve Flying Dutchman. The second Manchester week was cancelled because of heavy losses but the company was quickly reconstituted with the financial help of Beecham to allow much of the rest of the tour to take place. Edinburgh survived in the schedule, but the last weeks in Aberdeen and Glasgow were dropped. After much publicity, the company returned to Manchester for a second week, commencing 3 November (in preference to the originally planned second week at Liverpool). This week featured a Ring cycle, and the full schedule was: Mon Rheingold; Tue Valkyrie, Wed Siegfried; Thu Rosenkavalier; Fri Twilight of the Gods; Sat mat Orpheus and Euridice; Sat eve Mastersingers.

Cast details are from playbills for the two Manchester weeks in Manchester City Library. For the second visit the poster states that the operas were all produced by Hermann Gura - earlier in the tour the responsibilities had been divided between him and Mr T C Fairbairn. Confirmation that Gura alone directed Rosenkavalier is gained from a programme for 27 October in Liverpool City Library.

Of the first performance in Scotland, at Edinburgh's King's Theatre on 17 November, the Scotsman critic devoted some considerable space in the review trying to make sense of this new musical comedy. The plot, briefly summarised, was 'feeble and not worthy of treatment by a man of the commanding art of Dr Richard Strauss'.

In a relatively brief passage addressing the performance, the anonymous critic stated that the outstanding vocal performance was that of Agnes Nicholls, the Feldmarschallin, whose English could also be understood. Admitting the difficulties caused by the orchestra overlaying the voices, he felt the enunciation "largely detracted from the success of the performance, which was otherwise commendable."

Performance Cast

Feldmarschallin Marie-Therese, Princess of Werdenberg (the Field-Marshal's wife)

Agnes Nicholls

Octavian Count Rofrano

Elizabeth Schiller

Ochs Baron Ochs auf Lerchenau

Arthur Pacyna

Major- domo to the Marschallin

Jacques Skrobisch


Ernest Bertram

Valzacchi an intriguer

Hans Bechstein

Annina Valzacchi's accomplice

Muriel Terry


Frederick Blamey

Faninal Herr von Faninal, a rich merchant

Frederick Ranalow (Sep 29; Oct 27)

Frederic Austin (Oct 4m; Nov 6)

Marianne Marianne Leitmetzerin, Sophie's duenna

Clytie Hine

Sophie Sophie von Faninal, his daughter

Caroline Hatchard

Major-domo to Faninal

Joseph Ireland


Leon de Souza

Commissioner of Police

Ernest Von Pick

Performance DatesRosenkavalier 1913

Map List

Prince of Wales Theatre, Birmingham | Birmingham

20 Sep, 19.00 22 Sep, 19.00 24 Sep, 19.00 26 Sep, 19.00

Theatre Royal, Manchester | Manchester

29 Sep, 19.00 6 Nov, 19.00

Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield | Sheffield

15 Oct, 19.00

Grand Theatre, Leeds | Leeds

25 Oct, 14.00

Shakespeare Theatre | Liverpool

27 Oct, 19.30 1 Nov, 14.00

Theatre Royal, Newcastle | Newcastle-upon-Tyne

14 Nov, 19.00

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

17 Nov, 19.00 22 Nov, 14.00 29 Nov, 14.00

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