Opera Scotland

Tristan und Isolde 1913Denhof Opera Company

Read more about the opera Tristan and Isolde

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 tour. Conducting was shared between Thomas Beecham (who conducted Tristan, Mastersingers, Magic Flute and his first Ring cycles) and 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  a playbill for the Manchester season in Manchester City Library and a programme from Liverpool City Library.

Performance Cast


Leon de Souza

Isolde an Irish princess

Cicely Gleeson-White

Brangäne Isolde's attendant

Lena Maitland

Kurwenal Tristan's squire

Charles Knowles

Tristan a Cornish knight

Frank Mullings

Melot a Cornish courtier

Jacques Skrobisch

King Mark King of Cornwall, Tristan's uncle

Robert Maitland (Sep 30)

Robert Radford (Oct 28)


Mr F C Tilney


Thomas Creegan

Performance DatesTristan und Isolde 1913

Map List

Prince of Wales Theatre, Birmingham | Birmingham

18 Sep, 18.30 23 Sep, 18.30

Theatre Royal, Manchester | Manchester

30 Sep, 18.30

Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield | Sheffield

13 Oct, 18.30

Shakespeare Theatre | Liverpool

28 Oct, 18.30

Theatre Royal, Newcastle | Newcastle-upon-Tyne

10 Nov, 18.30

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

18 Nov, 18.30

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