Opera Scotland

Fidelio 1910Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Fidelio

Fidelio was clearly still seen as a difficult work.  It didn't help when performances were infrequent and rehearsal time had to be grapped during the tour, when other works were being performed in the evening..  It looks as though this performance at least began with the company in hesitant form.  Fortunately the second act has far less dialogue and the drama inevitably gets a grip in a way that the first act sometimes doesn't.


Glasgow Opinion

Glasgow Herald: Saturday, 19 March 1910  (p10)

Carl Rosa Opera Company - Fidelio

'In comparing Fidelio with some modern examples of music drama one is reminded of the fable of the sun and the wind.  There was a contest in the heavens as to who would make a certain traveller unwrap his cloak, and the genial warmth of the sun was effective where the bluster of the wind only made the traveller wrap himself the closer.  Beethoven in his one example of opera deals with strong emotions, but he never takes us by assault.  There are no crude horrorse in Florestan's dungeon, and no cheap heroics in the action of Leonora.  Beethoven'a music reaches us by its splendid sincerity.   He shows us the troubled hearts of his characters, rather than emphasises the dark horror of their surroundings.'

'Beethoven was not a man of the theatre, and Fidelio is not perfect  from the point of view of theatrical effectiveness.  The public do not care for a too long sustained seriousness,  and Fidelio has little relief. But the work will always live on account of its great second act in which the composer rises to heights seldom surpassed even by himself.  Beethoven is the universal musician,  and when he sings of love and suffering, we seem to hear the cry of loving, suffering umanity.

' In music like that of Leonora, the methods of the ordinary prima donna are quite out of place.  Probably we would hear Fidelio more frequently if we had great artists to take its principal role.  Last night's audience in the Grand Theatre were fortunate in hearing a quite sympathetic performance.  Earlier in the week Miss Gertrude Vania showed sufficiently her eceptional gifts as singer and actress, and her Leonora had many fine points.  If a slight lack of power in the lower notes was something of a drawback in the concerted pieces, the fine quality of the singer's voice and her artistic methods made such numbers as the big aria in the first act highly successful.  Miss Vania's reading of the part was somewhat reserved, but perhaps that was owing to insufficient rehearsal with her colleagues.  One gathered from the performance generally that the work had not been sung for some time.  There were moments when all eyes were on the conductor, and the stage suggested the concert platform rather than the prison.  That the Carl Rosa perfrmances are usually marked by such finish made the somewhat unsatisfactory ensemble all the more noticeable.

'Mr Davies's voice seemed to flutter more than usual, but his Florestan had the right emotional note.  Mr Winckworth as Rocco and Mr Victor as Don Pizarro were as good as ever, and Miss Lawson-Taylor as Marcellina, Mr William O'Connor as Jacquino, and Mr Alexander Richard as Don Fernando, were quite acceptable.   Our remarks about ensemble apply particularly to chorus and orchestra.  One hopes that in the performance next week everything will run with customary smoothness.

'In the circumstances it was creditable to Mr Van Noorden that he kept his forces so well together.  The second act, which had the best performance, created unbounded enthusiasm;  no performance of the week required so many ''curtains'' before the audience had exhausted their applause.' 

Performance Cast

Jaquino Rocco's assistant

William O'Connor (Mar 18)

Marzelline Rocco's daughter

Dorothy Lawson-Taylor (Mar 18)

Rocco gaoler

Arthur Winckworth (Mar 18)

Leonore Florestan's wife, disguised as Fidelio

Gertrude Vania (Mar 18)

Don Pizarro prison governor

Charles Victor (Mar 18)

Florestan a Spanish nobleman

Edward Davies (Mar 18)

Don Fernando the King's Minister

Alexander Richard (Mar 18)

Production Cast


Walter van Noorden (Mar 18)

Performance DatesFidelio 1910

Map List

Grand Theatre, Glasgow | Glasgow

18 Mar, 19.30

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