Opera Scotland

Carmen 1914Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Carmen


An Edinburgh Review

Scotsman: Wednesday, 18 February 1914  (p9)

Carl Rosa Opera Company - Bizet's Carmen

'Bizet's Carmen took second place in the interesting series of operas, mostly of the established class,  which are being presented in Edinburgh during the forthcoming fortnight by the Carl Rosa Opera Company.  It did not draw to the Lyceum Theatre quite such a large audience as The Tales of Hoffmann did the night before.  But the theatre was sufficiently well filled,  and the applause at the numerous points of one of the most romantic and humanly appealing of modern music dramas was so enthusiastic that it is difficult to think of the day when Carmen will go out of fashion.  As a stage piece, as a drama, it has all the qualities that justify the musical treatment; and the musical treatment is so perfect in form and so true to human nature, so far as human nature may be expressed in music, that the piece stands out as one of the operatic creations that are ''not of an age,  but for all time.''

'All that is required is that it must be well produced; and that desideratum was achieved under Mr Van Noorden's leadership last night.   The first scene, with the conventional philandering of the Spanish soldiers with the cigarette girls of Seville, was carried through with some stage artificialities that in opera commonly transgress the limit of the realism that is aimed at.  But it gave the keynote and the start to the intense human drama that was to evolve itself in the Tavern Scene, the Cave Scene, and the final tragedy outside the Bull Ring of Seville.

'Miss Doris Woodall has for some years played Carmen in a style which has made her title to the part paramount so far as the provincial stage is concerned.  The ''Habanera'' won its customary applause, and the duets with José in the Tavern and Cave scenes, as also the card episode,  were noteworthy both as regards the acting and the singing.   Mr Edward Davies, who played Don José, is an excellent tenor, though his voice is not always controlled to suit the situation.  He was distinctly flat in the final bars of the duet, ''The village smiles;'' but he rose to the vocal and dramatic demands in the impassioned ''Flower Song.''

'The Escamillo of Mr Frank Clarke was in vocalisation and enunciation praiseworthy;  the ''Toreador'' song received the usual encore.  Miss Elizabeth Burgess as Micaëla, Mr Frederick Clendon as Dancairo, and Mr Robert Brookes as Remendado carried through the traditions of their parts without special distinction.  As Frasquita, Miss Winifred Geverding, with her clear and audible vocalisation, was a success in a part that is commonly neglected, and her duet work with Mercedes (Miss Phyllis Davies) gave to a carefully studied double part more prominence in the opera than it commonly secures

'The intervals between the acts were again too long.'



Carl Rosa in Scotland - 1914

The 1914 season was unusual in that it was restricted to five weeks in total, and all those in the central belt.   One week at Greenock (King's), and two in Edinburgh (Lyceum), were followed by two in Glasgow (Theatre Royal).

The somewhat reduced repertoire consited of twelve operas in all.  These were by Mozart (Marriage of Figaro,  Magic Flute);  Wallace (Maritana);  Wagner (Tannhäuser,  Lohengrin);  Verdi (Trovatore Aïda);  Thomas (Mignon);  Gounod (Faust)  Offenbach  (Tales of Hoffmann);  Bizet (Carmen);  Wolf-Ferrari (Jewels of the Madonna).

The five-week tour schedule was as follows:

Greenock:  w/c 9 February:   Mon 9  Magic Flute;  Tue 10  Carmen;  Wed 11  Tales of Hoffmann;  Thu 12  Trovatore;  Fri 13  Jewels of the Madonna;  Sat 14 m  Tannhäuser;   Sat 14 e  Maritana.

Edinburgh:  w/c 16 February:  Mon 16 Tales of Hoffmann;  Tue 17 Carmen;  Wed 18 Lohengrin;  Thu 19 Mignon;  Fri  20 Jewels of the Madonna;  Sat 21 m Tales of Hoffmann;  Sat 21 e Faust.

Edinburgh: w/c 23 February:  Mon 23 Tales of Hoffmann;  Tue 24 Marriage of Figaro;  Wed 25 Tannhäuser;  Thu 26 Magic Flute;  Fri 27 Tales of Hoffmann;  Sat 28 m Jewels of the Madonna;  Sat 28 e Trovatore.

Glasgow:  w/c 2 March;  Mon 2 Tales of Hoffmann;  Tue 3 Mignon;  Wed 4 Tannhäuser;  Thu 5 Jewels of the Madonna;  Fri 6 Magic Flute; Sat 7 m Tales of Hoffmann;  Sat 7 e  Trovatore.

Glasgow:  w/c 9 March:  Mon 9 Carmen;  Tue 10 Marriage of Figaro;  Wed 11 Tales of Hoffmann;  Thu 12 Maritana;  Fri  13 Aïda;  Sat 14 m Faust;  Sat 14 e Tales of Hoffmann

Performance Cast

Micaëla a peasant girl

Elizabeth Burgess (Feb 17)

Don José a corporal of dragoons

Edward Davies (Feb 17)

Carmen a gypsy

Doris Woodall (Feb 17)

Frasquita a gypsy, Carmen’s friend

Winifred Geverding (Feb 17)

Mercédès a gypsy, Carmen’s friend

Phyllis Davies (Feb 17)

Escamillo a toreador

Frank Clarke (Feb 17)

Dancaïre a smuggler

Frederick Clendon (Feb 17)

Remendado a smuggler

Robert Brookes (Feb 17)

Performance DatesCarmen 1914

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

17 Feb, 19.30

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

9 Mar, 19.15

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