Opera Scotland

Faust 1926Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Faust

The Scotsman of Friday, 19 February gave an enthusiastic review of the previous evening's performance of what might be considered a hackneyed piece. There appears to have been an almost unexpected sense of freshness:

'Gounod's Faust, despite its seventy years of existence, has apparently lost none of its charm for the public. Last night, at the Lyceum, it drew the largest audience, so far, of the week.'

'There is, in fact, a good deal of delicate and significant detail in the score which commonly passes unappreciated by those whose attention is only really held by the more exciting moments of the opera. It was one of the particular merits of last night's performance that the detail, under the direction of Mr Thomas M'Guire, was all remarkably well done.'

'Mr John Perry's Faust was a really fine performance, with none of the uncertain moments of which exponents of the role are aften victims. Miss Eda Bennie's Marguerite was fresh and girlish, and her singing was invariably attractive. Mr John Kelly made an impressive Mephistopheles, sardonic, but not unduly humorous, and the Valentine of Mr Flintoff Moore was highly effective. Miss Olive Gilbert was an attractive Siebel, and Mr Leslie Jones imparted more individuality to the role of Wagner than the character ordinarily displays, while the Martha of Miss Ella Mayne was also good.'

'A special feature of the performance was the ballet, with Miss Ailne Phillips as the principal dancer, ably seconded by Miss Jean Brady. The Carl Rosa ballet has within the last year or two been brought to a high state of efficiency. Last night, with the white figures of the dancers standing out against a background of dark draperies it presented a series of singularly graceful pictures.'


'There was, indeed, something very graceful about the production of the opera as a whole. Everything, on the stage and in the orchestra, was good. The performance was a striking illustration of the admirable results which can be secured with an intelligently cultivated ensemble.'

A second performance on 5 March was also noted in the following day's Scotsman.

This seven week long Scottish tour, from 15 February to 3 April 1926, visited Edinburgh (two weeks), Glasgow (four) and Dundee (one). A highly unusual feature of the repertoire is the complete absence of operas by Wagner, still being given by the larger BNOC company that was also touring at this time. The Barber of Seville and La bohème, which would be a mainstay of the Carl Rosa company for the rest of its existence, now make a prominent appearance.

The Edinburgh schedule was:

First week (commencing 15 Feb): Mon Madam Butterfly, Tue Samson and Delilah, Wed Barber of Seville, Thu Faust, Fri Bohème, Sat mat Carmen, Sat eve Bohemian Girl.

Second week (commencing 22 Feb): Mon Cav & Pag, Tue Rigoletto, Wed Butterfly, Thu Maritana, Fri Trovatore, Sat mat Bohème, Sat eve Carmen.

Glasgow saw all of the above, plus a single performances of The Marriage of Figaro. a proposed performance of Fidelio on 26 March was replaced by Barber of Seville according to the Glasgow Herald of 27 March. Dundee's programme was equally popular - Cav & Pag, Barber, Rigoletto, Bohemian Girl, Bohème, Butterfly and Maritana.

Performance Cast

Faust a learned doctor

John Perry (Feb 18; Mar 5)

Méphistophélès the devil

John Kelly (Feb 18; Mar 5)

Valentin Marguerite's brother

Flintoff Moore (Feb 18; Mar 5)

Wagner a student of Dr Faust

Leslie Jones (Feb 18)


Eda Bennie (Feb 18; Mar 5)

Siébel a student of Dr Faust, in love with Marguerite

Olive Gilbert (Feb 18; Mar 5)

Marthe a neighbour

Ella Mayne (Feb 18)

Dancer 1

Ailne Phillips

Dancer 2

Jean Brady

Performance DatesFaust 1926

Map List

Royal Lyceum Theatre | Edinburgh

18 Feb, 19.15

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

5 Mar, 19.15 20 Mar, 14.15 25 Mar, 19.15

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