Opera Scotland

Thais and Talmaae 1923Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Thais and Talmaae

Colin M Campbell's opera, premiered in 1921 in Manchester, received a single performance in Scotland. The Glasgow Herald of Tuesday, 20 March, in previewing the Carl Rosa company's fifth week in Glasgow, describes it as a 'little operetta', with only two characters, to be played by Eva Turner and John Perry. The use of the term 'little operetta' combined with its performance in a Saturday matinee in Glasgow, given as the first part of a double bill with Donizetti's delightfully frothy Daughter of the Regiment, may have lulled punters into thinking it also would be a light-hearted work. The presence of the company's leading dramatic soprano and tenor will have quickly revealed their error.

Thais (as in Massenet's opera) is a courtesan who wants to reform. She therefore consults a priest, only to find that he actually loves her. To save his immortal soul, she promptly stabs him, and then herself. It sounds like fun, though perhaps lacks the lush melodic generosity of Massenet's treatment of the story.

Campbell is now forgotten as a composer, and this is the only operatic work produced in his lifetime. However a second piece, the full-length Maid Marian, was performed posthumously.

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

Performance Cast

Thais a courtesan

Eva Turner

Talmaae a priest

John Perry

Performance DatesThais and Talmaae 1923

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

24 Mar, 14.00

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