Opera Scotland

Zauberflöte 1913Denhof Opera Company

Read more about the opera Magic Flute

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 duties on the tour were shared between Thomas Beecham (who conducted Tristan 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.

The Magic Flute was only now entering the general repertoire in Britain at this time, largely due to the completion of Edward Dent's translation. It was already being toured around the country by Carl Rosa.

Cast details are from a playbill for the Manchester season in Manchester City Library. It lists both Gura and Fairbairn as in charge of production without allocating specific operas to each. Variants are from a programme in Liverpool City Library which mentions only Gura in charge of the staging.

Performance Cast

Tamino a Prince

Frederick Blamey (Oct 1)

Walter Hyde (Oct 29)

First Lady in attendance on the Queen

Clytie Hine

Second Lady in attendance on the Queen

Gladys Cooper

Third Lady in attendance on the Queen

Marion Beeley

Papageno a bird-catcher

Frederick Ranalow

Queen of Night

Caroline Hatchard

First Boy

Beryl Freeman

Second Boy

Lena Maitland

Third Boy

Irene Maurice Wright

Monostatos a servant in the Temple

Charles Neville (Oct 1)

Hans Bechstein (Oct 29)

Pamina daughter of the Queen of Night

Gertrude Blomfield

Speaker at the Temple

Ernest Von Pick (Oct 1)

Frederic Austin (Oct 29)

Sarastro High Priest of Isis and Osiris

Robert Maitland

First Priest

Leon de Souza

Second Priest

Thomas Creegan

Papagena disguised as an old woman

Eveline Matthews (Oct 1)

Margaret Vincent (Oct 29)

First Armed Man

Kenneth Sterne

Second Armed Man

Ernest Bertram

Performance DatesZauberflöte 1913

Map List

Prince of Wales Theatre, Birmingham | Birmingham

25 Sep, 14.00 27 Sep, 19.30

Theatre Royal, Manchester | Manchester

1 Oct, 19.30

Theatre Royal, Newcastle | Newcastle-upon-Tyne

11 Nov, 19.30

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

19 Nov, 19.30

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