Opera Scotland

Lohengrin 1905Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Lohengrin

It was surprisingly common for the big cities like Glasgow, with several suitable theatres, to experience annoying clashes.  In this instance, the Moody-Manners company was also in town.


The Critic Speaks

Glasgow Herald : 31 March 1905

'With Miss de Lussan as a counter attraction in Daughter of the Regiment at the Theatre-Royal, it was not surprising there should be a number of vacant seats at the performance of Lohengrin in the Grand Theatre. The names of the 'stars' in the  Carl Rosa company as yet convey very little to Glasgow musical people.  It is always interesting, however, to hear familiar work from unfamiliar combinations, and last night's rendering of Wagner's beautiful music was on the whole quite memorable.  Its strength lay in its general excellence.

'With only a moderately satisfactory band, and a small, if efficient, chorus, the Carl Rosa company are at a disadvantage in Wagnerian drama.  The male voice number in eight parts announcing the arrival of Lohengrin is seldom a success even with a large chorus but is almost hopeless when the singers are few.  In the second act similar exacting demands are made.  Last night, the band, under Mr Eugene Goossens, showed some improvement on their appearance in Tannhauser and, indeed, got through their music quite creditably but the chorus sometimes had more to do than they could successfully manage.  One missed the accumulation of power that is so exciting in Wagnerian climaxes. Where the music, however, was within their capacity the singers did all that was possible.

'Herr Julius Walther, who was the Lohengrin of the cast, if not a tenor of the first rank - the first rank is very thin at the present time - has at least a pleasant serviceable voice, and an artistic style..  We know of no more trying entry than that of Lohengrin, and almost despair of hearing the farewell song sung to the swan rendered with complete success.  Sung at the back of the stage to only a suggestion of accompaniment, it reveals every flaw in the voice.   A certain hollowness in Mr Walther's upper notes and a more than suggestion of tremolo were at once evident.  Mr Walther, however, made his Lohengrin quite acceptable and sang his music with an appreciation of its worth and meaning.  In other roles he may be even more successful, the performance of Tristan next week will give him every chance to distinguish himself.  Miss Lizzie Burgess, as Elsa, was at he best in tearful and tender moments. Her voice is hardly strong enough for declamation and when forced tends to fall from the pitch.  Miss Burgess looked the gentle heroine  and, for the most part, sang sweetly and convincingly.   There are few sopranos who create a uniform success in Wagnerian roles.

'We suppose operatic artistes must sometimes find a difficulty in knowing what to make of the ugly character of Ortrud.  According to Wagner, Ortrud is the political woman who has renounced love; and as love was Wagner's theme through all his dramas, we may guess how he intended her to be.   The character always strikes us as too highly coloured to be real.  Miss Marie Alexander makes Ortrud a very vixenish person indeed.  One would have been quite sorry for her husband last night had not Herr Charles Victor not taken a more than usually dark view of his role and made Frederic one of the most sinister stage villains we have seen outside actual melodrama.  Both artistes were vigorous in plottings, quarrellings and ruminations and succeeded in providing a sufficiently black background for the shining knight of the Grail and his tender lady.  Mr Arthur Winckworth, the possessor of one of the best voices in the company, sang the part of Henry the Fowler, and Mr Frank Arthur was excellent as the Herald.  The piece was staged effectively and its reception by the audience was all that a sanguine management could desire.'


Carl Rosa Scottish Visit - 1905

'On this return to Scotland after an absence of a few years, for only two weeks in Glasgow, Carl Rosa Opera's  performances were as follows:-

Week 1, comm 27 Mar: Mon Tannhäuser; Tue Don Giovanni; Wed Faust; Thu Lohengrin; Fri Rigoletto; Sat m Cav & Pag; Sat e Maritana.

Week 2, comm 3 Apr: Mon Faust; Tue Tristan and Isolde; Wed Rigoletto; Thu Tannhäuser; Fri Marriage of Figaro; Sat m Don Giovanni; Sat e Carmen.

Performance Cast

Heerufer Royal Herald

Frank Arthur

Heinrich Henry the Fowler, King of Germany

Arthur Winckworth

Friedrich von Telramund Count of Brabant

Charles Victor

Ortrud Friedrich's wife

Marie Alexander

Elsa von Brabant sister of the missing Count Gottfried

Elizabeth Burgess

Lohengrin a knight

Julius Walther

Performance DatesLohengrin 1905

Map List

Grand Theatre, Glasgow | Glasgow

30 Mar, 19.30

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