Opera Scotland

Lohengrin 1924Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Lohengrin

The tour

The Carl Rosa company was in the habit of coming to Scotland in February and running its tour through the early spring. In early 1924, from 28 January to 19 April they toured Aberdeen, Perth, Greenock, Glasgow and Edinburgh. Opera performed included

The performance

Lohengrin appeared during the second week of the Aberdeen visit and was reviewed the next day, in the Press and Journal of Thursday, 7 February:

'Last night's performance of Lohengrin by the Carl Rosa Company had many points of excellence. The opera is an exacting test for even the best equipped company, and the artists, singers, and instrumentalists alike, are entitled to hearty congratulations upon the measure of their success. Without the attainment of any supreme height, the general standard attained was most creditably high, and the person must have been hard to please who did not enjoy such an admirable presentation of a work which is still so universally beloved.'

'Mr Boland began quietly, for the obvious reason that he had a cold, and wished to save himself for the later scenes. It was not until the last act that he let his voice go, and then the wisdom of his conduct became apparent for, together with Miss Turner, he gave us a magnificent rendering of the Love Duet, which, in its opulence of melody and in the variety of moods and passions it touches, is perhaps the gem of the opera.'

'Mr Hitchen sang Telramund in his usual conscientious style, with a steady tone, but without much fire or variety. The part requires a greater flexibility than Mr Hitchen brings to it.'

'The acting honours went to Miss Woodall, whose Ortrud was the only live figure in the group. Miss Woodall never forgets to act, and is never out of the picture. Wherever she is, the centre of interest is there, and the striking and sinister figure holds all eyes. Her voice is somewhat stressed in the higher sections of the part, but its emotional range and colour are equal to every demand. Her work in the second act was masterly.'

Not all the visual aspects were quite ideal: 'Mr Boland looked a splendid figure in his shining armour. The only thing not convincing about his Lohengrin was his beard, which was palpably false. Mr Hitchen, too, was over-bearded and wigged; his Telramund bore a distinct resemblance to the late Rasputin.'

The Glasgow Herald of Saturday, 1 March, gave a brief account of Friday's performance, in which are listed the same conductor and the performers of Lohengrin, Elsa and Ortrud.

When the tour reached Edinburgh, the Scotsman reviewed significant cast changes at the performance of Thursday, 17 April:

'Last night's performance of the opera by the Carl Rosa artists called for little but praise. The delightful quality of Mr Hughes Macklin's voice showed to great advantage in the music of the hero, and dramatically he made the most of a part in which there is little upon which an actor can lay hold. The Elsa of Miss Hope Laurin was vocally brilliant, and like Mr Macklin she acquitted herself to good purpose in a role which it is difficult to render convincing.

'Ortrud is a character which can be made either merely melodramatic or something more. Last night, Miss Gladys Parr achieved the something more. Dramatically, her impersonation of the character was excellent. There was no exaggeration, but it was always vital and significant, while her singing was delightful. The Telramund of Mr Booth Hitchen was a strikingly picturesque interpretation, and Mr Gilding Clarke's Henry the Fowler had the necessary impressiveness, coupled with a warmth of expression in his singing which is not always found in the role. Mr Bernard Ross's Herald, while perhaps lacking a little in sonorousness, was nevertheless very effective.'

'The chorus work was good, and the scene of the arrival of Lohengrin, in the first act, and also the finale of the act, had a genuinely exhilarating quality. The orchestra did very good work, and the Prelude to the opera was well played. Mr Charles Webber conducted. The mounting of the opera was artistic, and the second act, in particular, was very attractive in the disposition of its colour.'

Performance Cast

Heerufer Royal Herald

Bernard Ross (Feb 6; Apr 17)

Heinrich Henry the Fowler, King of Germany

E Gilding Clarke (Feb 6; Apr 17)

Friedrich von Telramund Count of Brabant

Booth Hitchen (Feb 6; Apr 17)

Ortrud Friedrich's wife

Doris Woodall (Feb 6, 29)

Gladys Parr (Apr 17)

Elsa von Brabant sister of the missing Count Gottfried

Eva Turner (Feb 6, 29)

Hope Laurin (Apr 17)

Lohengrin a knight

William Boland (Feb 6, 29)

Hughes Macklin (Apr 17)

Performance DatesLohengrin 1924

Map List

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

6 Feb, 19.00

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

29 Feb, 19.00 15 Mar, 14.00 27 Mar, 19.00

Royal Lyceum Theatre | Edinburgh

17 Apr, 19.00

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