Opera Scotland

Tosca 1922Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Tosca

The Carl Rosa's Scottish tour at the beginning of 1922 was an unusually long one with 21 different operas on display. If the seven renderings of Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci are regarded as fourteen shows, that totals 105 performances (instead of 98) over the fourteen weeks from 16 January to 22 April embracing five venues. It began in the north-east, with one week in Perth, two in Aberdeen and one in Dundee. There followed an eight week stay in Glasgow, almost a northern headquarters for the company, and two final weeks in Edinburgh.

The most frequently performed operas in the season were Samson and Delilah (11), Carmen (9) and Madam Butterfly (9). Four works received only a single outing - The Valkyrie (in Aberdeen) and Lily of KillarneyBohème and Tosca in Glasgow.

The first week commencing Monday, 16 January, in Perth's delightfully intimate Edwardian auditorium, ran in this order: Mon Carmen; Tue Tales of Hoffmann, Wed Maritana, Thu Samson and Delilah, Fri Cav & Pag, Sat mat Madam Butterfly, Sat eve Il Trovatore.

In Aberdeen there were changes. Cav & Pag were dropped briefly, but the expanded repertoire saw the introduction of Bohemian GirlFaust and Mignon, as well as some larger-scale works by Verdi (Aïda) and Wagner (Tannhäuser, LohengrinValkyrie).

Dundee had not been visited since 1919 when Her Majesty's became a cinema, but the King's was now available, at least until 1928, when it, too, was acquired by a cinema company. The schedule for the week in Dundee was a fairly standard digest of the existing repertoire - Mon Faust, Tue Carmen, Wed Cav & Pag, Thu Samson and Delilah, Fri Tannhäuser, Sat Mat Madam Butterfly, and Sat Eve Trovatore.

With eight weeks to fill, it was inevitable that as well as nearly all of the above, a number of works would appear that were not seen elsewhere. These included Lily of Killarney, RigolettoMastersingersBohème and Tosca.


Given the frequency of performance of Butterfly on this Scottish visit, covering all four cities, it seems strange that Bohème and Tosca should have just been given once each, both restricted to Glasgow.

This skeletal cast for the matinee of Saturday, 25 February, is from the brief review in the Glasgow Herald of the following Monday: - 'Probably counter-attractions of various kinds limited the audience, which was smaller than at most of the evening performances of the week. Those who preferred to sacrifice something for La Tosca had an ample reward, for the work has seldom had a finer performance in Glasgow.'

It continues: 'The music fits the melodramatic story down to the smallest detail, and the effect of the whole was displayed on Saturday with convincing power, thanks to the high quality of the performance. Miss Eva Turner rose to the height of a great opportunity by her skilful acting and splendid singing as Tosca. In such music her voice found an ideal medium of expression. Mr Kingsley Lark made Scarpia the crafty villain he should be, and even in the intensely tragic scenes in the second act his voice remained steady and true, and wholly pleasant in quality. In the part of Cavaradossi Mr John Perry made his best appearance since the season opened, singing robustly with refreshing confidence and impeccable taste. Mr Frederick Clendon was the most conspicuous of those who played the minor parts, all of which were efficiently filled. The performance owed much to the skilful conducting of Mr Paul Kochs and to the playing of the orchestra, which was as fine as they have yet given.'

Performance Cast

Mario Cavaradossi a painter

John Perry


Frederick Clendon

Floria Tosca a famous singer

Eva Turner

Baron Scarpia Chief of Police

Kingsley Lark

Performance DatesTosca 1922

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

25 Feb, 14.15

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