Opera Scotland

Götterdämmerung 1913Denhof Opera Company

Read more about the opera Twilight of the Gods

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 final season saw the Scottish premieres of Der Rosenkavalier and Pelléas et Mélisande, with further performances of Elektra, brought back from the 1912 season. Conducting was shared between Thomas Beecham (who conducted Mastersingers, Tristan, his first Ring cycles and Magic Flute) and his assistant, Hans Schilling-Ziemssen.

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 major roles are taken by company regulars, though it is unusual to see Walter Hyde adding Siegfried, as he usually only appeared as Siegmund. Cicely Gleeson-White sang in Walküre and Götterdämmerung, but not in Siegfried. Maud Santley followed the example of Edna Thornton in earlier years by singing a  Norn, a Valkyrie and a Rhinemaiden during the same evening. Ida Cooper and Gertrude Blomfield both doubled parts.

Cast details are from an advertising playbill for the Manchester week in Manchester City Library.

Performance Cast

First Norn

Maud Santley

Second Norn

Ida Cooper

Third Norn

Gertrude Blomfield

Brünnhilde Siegfried's lover

Cicely Gleeson-White


Walter Hyde

Gunther a Gibichung

Frederick Ranalow

Hagen son of Alberich

Charles Knowles

Gutrune a Gibichung, Gunther's sister

Gertrude Blomfield

Waltraute a Valkyrie, Brünnhilde's sister

Maud Santley

Alberich a Nibelung

Lewys James

Woglinde a Rhinemaiden

Clytie Hine

Wellgunde a Rhinemaiden

Ida Cooper

Flosshilde a Rhinemaiden

Maud Santley

Performance DatesGötterdämmerung 1913

Map List

Grand Theatre, Leeds | Leeds

24 Oct, 17.30

Theatre Royal, Manchester | Manchester

7 Nov, 17.30

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

28 Nov, 17.30

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