Opera Scotland

Mastersingers of Nuremberg 1923Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Meistersinger von N├╝rnberg

No programme for the single Mastersingers performance has been traced as yet. The Glasgow Herald of Saturday, 10 March does give a certain amount of detail, including the eight leading soloists. The conductor Charles Webber had worked in Germany for several years before the war, and could be seen as something of a Wagner expert.

Company information is from a programme for w/c 5 March in the collection of the V&A, London.

It seems that Wagner's great human comedy was not yet seen as a popular work that would draw large houses. The fact that only one performance was scheduled through a ten week tour seems odd, given the difficulties for both chorus and orchestra of performing the piece so rarely.

As the Herald put it - ''Touring companies have seldom been successful in attracting large audiences with The Mastersingers - in Glasgow at any rate - and the Carl Rosa Company met with no better fortune when they produced it at the Theatre Royal last night. The many empty seats must have disappointed the managerial expectations, for which even the hearty applause of those present would scarcely furnish solace. It was the only performance of the opera during the present visit, and while welcoming it from the artistic aspect one wonders why otherwise the organisation included it, for its preparation as well its performance imposes a considerable strain upon the resources of the company.

''The orchestra played exceedingly well throughout, except occasionally when the brasses were too strident and upset the general balance, and the chorus acquitted themselves efficiently in their somewhat limited requirements, but about the whole atmosphere of the production there was lacking that note of geniality and brightness so essential to the full success of this opera. Too often a grave and serious demeanour persisted which hardly conveyed the suggestion of a community fervid with song, and when the lighter moments occurred there was a tendency to buffoonery.

''Musically, however, the performance merited most of the appreciation that it aroused, and especially agreeable was the individual contributions of the principals. Outstanding were Mr John Perry as Walther and Miss Eva Turner as Eva. They both sang splendidly, and infused their characters with appropriate spirit. The Hans Sachs of Mr Booth Hitchen was vocally capable, but the acting carried dignity to the category of severity. Mr Harry Brindle made an excellent appearance as Pogner, his fine voice suiting the part admirably...........Mr Charles Webber conducted, and deservedly shared in the enthusiastic 'calls' which followed the fall of each curtain.''

For full details of the Royal Carl Rosa's 1923 Scottish tour, see under AïdaMaritanaLohengrinCarmen, Tales of Hoffmann or Bohemian Girl.

Performance Cast

Walther von Stolzing a young knight

John Perry

Eva daughter of Pogner

Eva Turner

Magdalene Eva's nurse

Gladys Parr

David apprentice to Sachs

Horace Vincent

Hans Sachs a shoemaker

Booth Hitchen

Veit Pogner a goldsmith

Harry Brindle

Sixtus Beckmesser town clerk

Frederick Clendon

Fritz Kothner a baker

Appleton Moore

Performance DatesMastersingers of Nuremberg 1923

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

9 Mar, 19.15

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