Opera Scotland

Pagliacci 1913Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Pagliacci

The verismo double bill of Cav & Pag remained a crowd pleaser.


The Edinburgh View

Scotsman:  Tuesday, 18 February 1913  (p7)

Carl Rosa Opera Company - Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci

'In entering on their third week of performance at the King's Theatre, the carl Rosa managers were wll advised in putting forward, with really strong casts, the double bill of Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana and Leoncavallo's Pagliacci.   Both pieces have things in common that justify their being placed together, and each is sufficiently short to serve as a complement to the other in a reasonable operatic entertainment.

'The new Italian school, of which these two striking examples were given last night, suggested a ''return to nature,''  as it were, inasmuch as in the plots and general texture of the music the atmosphere of gods and demigods is discarded in favour of the intenser appeal to humbler humanity, even in the half sordid tales of modern life in Italy or Sicily.

'It might be easy to say that the two operas have in certain particulars been better presented in Edinburgh, for special artists in special parts have occasionally seized the public.  But a combination like the Carl Rosa Company must be judged on the broad basis of its general talent;  and the applause of last night's audience testified to the appreciation of the operas and of the singers.

'It may be noted that all through Mr Goossens was inclined to overlook the strain on the singers, for the simple reason that he strives to force their best out of the instrumentalists.  Mascagni is not Mozart and Mozart is not Mascagni.   But each tried to make stage music for singers and instrumentalists, and modern conditions have made it absolutely necessary that the work of the singers should be more intense and the work of the orchestra more restrained.  Mr Goossens is a master of interpretation;  but he occasionally forgets that voices are not instruments;  and the orchestra was frequently too loud when the audience would have been pleased to hear the singers.  For, of course, the majority of those present knew the distinctive musical numbers.

'Mr Charles Neville, as the Turiddu in Cavaleria Rusticana,  was quite a success.  He has a good tenor voice, and bore his part bravely.  Miss Miriam Licette realised the pathetic interest of Santuzza, both vocally and dramatically.  And there was much merit in the Lucia of Miss Jean Douglas Wilson, the Lola of Miss Dorothy Lawson-Taylor, and the Alfio of Mr Samuel Lansdale.  But it is the fault of these vivid modern operas that they demand careful work, and provide no recompense in the form of encores.  For that reason, Mascagni's music-drama - with the prologue ''O Lola,'' admirably sung by Mr Neville behind the curtain, the Easter Hymn, in which the effct of the collected singing of the chorus was very fine;  the dringing song, and the song of the teamster - was passed without a break;  which was, perhaps, the best proof of the even excellence of the performance.

'In Pagliacci, Mr Hebden Foster as Tonio made his mark in the prologue.  He has a good sense of dramatic delivery;  but his later work suggested that the vibrato device and the exaggeration of passion may be overdone.  An excellent part was the Silvio of Mr Felix Fleischer, who played the rôle of the lover of Nedda with the necessary passion and with good vocal artistry, his delivery of the words being admirably clear in the great appeal in the second act.  The part of Nedda was, perhaps, dramatically too tragic for the style of Miss Beatrice Miranda, a vocalist who is always charming in the delivery of her notes, but who occasionally fails to rise to the feigned emotions of the operatic stage.  Mr Hedmondt as Canio sang and acted, as always, with a full conception of the dramatic contents of his part.  He realised the tragedy.  His rendering of ''On with the motley'' was instinct with pathos and though he was obviously sparing his voice, he gave to the audience the full music and the full meaning of one of the most impressive parts in the literature of modern musical melodrama.  For, after all, Pagliacci, with its intense charm, is musical melodrama.'


Carl Rosa Scottish Tour - 1913

This late winter Scottish season conisisted of seven weeks, each with seven performances.  After a week in Aberdeen (w/c 20 Jan) then one in Dundee (w/c 27 Jan), there followed three in Edinburgh’s King’s Theatre (commencing 3 Feb, 10 Feb, 17 Feb) and two in Glasgow’s Theatre Royal (w/c 24 Feb; 3 Mar).  Two performances originally scheduled of Jewels of the Madonna in Edinburgh were cancelled to allow for more rehearsals.  The operas that replaced them were Mefistofele (20 Feb) and Magic Flute (22 Feb mat)

The sixteen operas performed were by:  Mozart (Don GiovanniZauberflöte);  Benedict (Lily of Killarney);  Balfe (Bohemian Girl);  Thomas (Mignon);  Wallace (Maritana);  Wagner (TannhäuserLohengrin);  Verdi (Trovatore);  Gounod (Faust);  Goldmark (Queen of Sheba);  Boito (Mefistofele);  Bizet (Carmen);  Leoncavallo (Pagliacci);  Mascagni (Cavalleria Rusticana);  Wolf-Ferrari (Jewels of the Madonna).

The performance schedule was:

Aberdeen, w/c 20 January:  Mon 20 Carmen;  Tue 21 Lohengrin;  Wed 22 Trovatore;  Thu  23 Mefistofele;  Fri 24 Magic Flute;  Sat 25 m Tannhäuser;  Sat 25 e Mignon.

Dundee, w/c  27 January:  Mon 27 Tannhäuser;  Tue 28 Magic Flute;  Wed 29 Mignon;  Thu 30 Trovatore;  Fri 31 Mefistofele;  Sat 1 Feb m Carmen;  Sat 1 Feb e Bohemian Girl.

Edinburgh, w/c 3 February:  Mon 3 Tannhäuser;  Tue 4 Mignon;  Wed 5 Magic Flute;  Thu 6 Trovatore;  Fri 7 Lohengrin;  Sat 8 m Faust;  Sat 8 e Bohemian Girl.

Edinburgh, w/c 10 February:  Mon 10 Magic Flute;  Tue 11 Queen of Sheba;  Wed 12 Carmen;  Thu 13 Maritana;  Fri 14 Magic Flute;  Sat 15 m Mignon;  Sat 15 e Lily of Killarney.

Edinburgh, w/c 17 February:  Mon 17 Cav & Pag;  Tue 18 Don Giovanni;  Wed 19 Faust;  Thu 20 Mefistofele;  Fri 21 Tannhäuser;  Sat 22 m Magic Flute;  Sat 22 e Trovatore.

Glasgow, w/c 24 February:  Mon  24 Magic Flute;  Tue 25 Mignon;  Wed 26 Trovatore;  Thu 27 Cav & Pag;  Fri 28 Jewels of the Madonna;  Sat 1 Mar m Tannhäuser;  Sat 1 Mar e Faust.

Glasgow, w/c  3 March:  Mon 3 Lohengrin;  Tue 4 Jewels of the Madonna;  Wed 5 Magic Flute;  Thu 6 Mignon;  Fri  7 Carmen :  Sat 8 m Jewels of the Madonna;  Sat 8 e Magic Flute.

Performance Cast

Tonio a player

Hebden Foster (Feb 17)

Canio leader of the players

Charles Hedmondt (Feb 17)

Nedda Canio's wife

Beatrice Miranda (Feb 17)

Silvio a villager

Felix Fleischer (Feb 17)

Performance DatesPagliacci 1913

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

17 Feb, 19.30

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

27 Feb, 19.15

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