Opera Scotland

Valkyrie 1927Carl Rosa Opera Company

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The acknowledged star of this performance was the tenor William Boland. Further information about the period he spent on the continent would be useful. However it is known that at some stage he worked variously in Budapest, Prague, Vienna and Dresden. Doris Woodall was also an established leading performer. Ethel Austen had joined the company immediately following Eva Turner's departure for Milan in 1924, and by this time had taken over most of that great soprano's parts.

The Scotsman of 16 April was distinctly enthusiastic about the Carl Rosa company's ambitious attempt to stage the most popular element of the Ring in a season when the wealthier BNOC company was also taking it on tour.

'The last two or three years have witnessed a notable advance in the standard of performance of the Royal Carl Rosa Opera Company. This advance was strikingly illustrated in last night's fine performance of  The Valkyrie. Premising that the orchestra was small in proportion to the demands which the opera makes upon it, although the orchestra did wonders, there has not been a better all-round performance of The Valkyrie in Edinburgh. One of the outstanding features of last night's performance was that there was not a weak point in the cast. Everyone was good, and there was that general keying-up of individual and collective effort which invariably accompanies such happy conditions.

'Mr William Boland, who has returned to the Company, after appearing in opera on the Continent, and who has been singing better than ever this week, gave a splendid reading of the rôle of Siegmund. His voice was true, and of beautiful quality throughout, and he made of Siegmund a good acting part, which is more than some tenors have done in the past. Music and action, indeed, were fused in a fine dramatic significance.

'Very high praise is due to the Brünnhilde of Miss Ethel Austen. Her voice has the volume and mellow brilliance that the music demands, and her impersonation was full of dramatic feeling and charm. No less effective was the Sieglinde of Miss Anna Catriona, a new recruit to the Company, whose work marked her out at once as a soprano of great promise. It was something of an event to see Miss Doris Woodall in a new rôle. As Fricka she sang excellently.

'Mr Flintoff Moore's Wotan was genuinely musical in tone and a character to which so many singers seem unable to impart any great conviction, was invested with its appropriate tragic dignity. The Hunding of Mr John Kelly was another fine performance, his delightful voice being heard to great advantage. The Misses Rosa Pinkerton, Marie Macklin, Esther Martin, Muriel Coleman, Bessie Weir, Irene Dobbyn, Ella Scott and Elsie Phillips acquitted themselves very well as the Valkyries.

'The opera was handsomely mounted, with an obvious careful study of every detail, and the performance as a whole had that completeness which is the secret of real enjoyment in Opera. Mr Cuthbert Hawley conducted, and the general clearness, precision, and admirable rhythmical feeling did him great credit.'

The full cast is taken from a programme for the performance on 15 April, found in the archives of Edinburgh Central Library.

Performance Cast

Siegmund a Volsung

William Boland

Sieglinde a Volsung, sister of Siegmund

Anna Catriona

Hunding husband of Sieglinde

John Kelly

Wotan father of the Valkyries and Volsungs

Flintoff Moore

Brünnhilde a Valkyrie

Ethel Austen

Fricka Wotan's estranged wife

Doris Woodall

Gerhilde a Valkyrie

Marie Macklin

Ortlinde a Valkyrie

Esther Martin

Waltraute a Valkyrie

Bessie Weir

Schwertleite a Valkyrie

Elsie Phillips

Helmwige a Valkyrie

Rosa Pinkerton

Siegrune a Valkyrie

Muriel Coleman

Grimgerde a Valkyrie

Ella Scott

Rossweisse a Valkyrie

Irene Dobbyn

Performance DatesValkyrie 1927

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

18 Mar, 19.00 31 Mar, 19.00

Royal Lyceum Theatre | Edinburgh

15 Apr, 19.15

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