Opera Scotland

Carmen 1911Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Carmen

Doris Woodall was recognised to be an excellent Carmen, apparently singing dozens of performances each tear.  The other regulars in this cast are in short roles - Zuniga and the two smugglers.

Rita Wallace had spent several seasons as a soloist with Moody-Manners, but was now working her way up to more challenging parts, here as Micaëla.  She soon left Carl Rosa to become a principal with O'Mara.

The leading tenor and baritone, Walter Wheatley and Dudley Marcus, both sang several leading roles on this tour, though Marcus does not seem to have progressed further.  


An Edinburgh Review

Scotsman: Wednesday, 8 March 1911  (p8)

The Carl Rosa Company in Carmen

'How deeply the Carl Rosa Opera Company have influenced the development of operatic music in this country is recalled by the circumstance that it was yjey who, more than thirty years ago, first produced in English Bizet's Carmen, the opera they presented to a highly appreciative audience in the King's Theatre last night.

'Last night's performance reached a high level.  Miss Doris Woodall's conception of the part of the wayward Spanish gipsy is already familiar to the public.  She sang and acted with great charm and power, and she and Mr Walter Wheatley - the Don José - showed that they could portray a great passion having always behind it a sinister suggestion of fatality.  Mr Wheatley was in splendid voice and fully equal to the demands made upon him.

'The Michaels of Miss Rita Wallace was full of sweetness and simplicity, and she shared the honours which were generously bestowed by the audience.  Mr Dudley Marcus, the Escamillo, had to repeat a stanza of the fascinating Toréador song.  The Frasquita amd Mercedes of Miss Hilda Morris and Miss Annie Van Dyck were notable among the minor parts.  Mr Frederick Clendon, Mr William O'Connor, Mr Alexander Richard, Mr Richard Carter and Mr Albert Felton gave excellent assistance.

'Mr Walter Van Noorden, the conductor, is to be congratulated on a performance of sterling merit.'


Preview of the Second Glasgow Week

Scottish Referee:  Monday,  27 March 1911  (p6)

Grand Theatre (Glasgow) - Carl Rosa Opera Company

'The first week of the opera season was brought to a successful close on Saturday evening with a delightful performance of The Bohemian Girl, which was witnessed by a crowded and enthusiastic ''house,''  who displayed hearty approval at frequent intervals during the performance.  At the repeat representation of Mignon at the matinee there was a large audience.

'The programme for the concluding week of the season is again of an attractive nature, and another capital week's business is assured.  To-night the attraction is Bizet's charming work, Carmen, with an exceptionally strong cast.

'Tomorrow evening a double programme has been selected, namely Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci, with Mr Walter Wheatley,  Mr Leslie Austin, and Miss Douglas Wilson  and Miss Emma Loeffler as principals in the Mascagni opera; and Mr E C Hedmondt, Mr Hebden Foster, and Miss Ina Hill in Pagliacci.'

Mozart's Marriage of Figaro will be produced on Wednesday, and the principals will be Mr Arthur Winckworth, Mr Wm Ludwig, Mr Frederick Clendon, and Misses Doris Woodall, Ina Hill, and Beatrice Miranda.  A third performance of Ambroise Thomas's delightful work Mignon will be given on Thursday. 

'Friday evening will be devoted to a performance of Wagner's favourite Tannhäuser, one of the most popular of the Carl Rosa repertoire, and Mr E C Hedmondt, Mr Hebden Foster, Mr Arthur Winckworth, with Miss Tilly Addington and Miss Emma Loeffler will be the principals.

'At a matinee on Saturday The Queen of Sheba will again be produced, and the engagement will conclude with a second performance in the evening of Benedict's Lily of Killarney, which attracted a large audience on Wednesday evening last.'


Review of Glasgow Performance

Glasgow Herald:  Tuesday, 28 March 1911  (p9)

Carl Rosa Opera Company

'The Carl Rosa Company began their second week at the Grand Theatre with a large audience.  The congestion of last week is somewhat relieved by the departure of the Moody Manners and Thomas Beecham companies, and amateurs will be able to enjoy the excellent programme the Carl Rosa Company have provided without feeling that they are missing something elsewhere.

'The list of operas for the week contains nothing new.  The Queen of Sheba is one of the most creditable of the Carl Rosa productons, and it is not surprising to find it down for further performances on Wednesday evening and Saturday afternoon.  The subject and the setting are of course attractions in themselves, but the music is also of much interest for amateurs who accept the  Wagnerian contribution to operatic art.  Mignon, whose revival must have been grateful to the older music lovers,  will be repeated on Thursday;  and for the rest there are Cavalleria Rusticana  and  PagliacciTannhäuser,  and The Lily of Killarney.

'Carmen, which has never left the repertory of the touring opera company,  was staged last night with Miss Doris Woodall in the title part.  Miss Woodall has improved much on her earlier conception of the gipsy heroine, and she now plays the part with every freedom and assurance.  The stage ''business'' of the older operas has become very much stereotyped, and Carmen has not escaped a hardening process.  There is, however, still room for individual performances,  and Miss Woodall manages to give her part the stamp of her personality.  Last night she was as good as ever from both vocal and histrionic points of view, and her success with the audience was complete.

'Mr Gordon Thomas, a new tenor, made a quite creditable appearance as Don José.  He was somewhat timid as an actor,  but in the first act that was not much of a disadvantage, for José is good and simple and unused to female wiles.  Mr Thomas afterwards played intelligently enough, and he will probably improve;  he sang with both taste and feeling.

'The rest of the cast was made up of familiar artists.  Mr Hebden Foster was a trifle inelastic as Escamillo, but he sang acceptably and he had to repeat a verse of the toreador's song.  Miss Ina Hill made a charming Micaela, and all the smaller parts were well filled.  The performance, indeed, was remarkable in the perfection of its detail.  The Carl Rosa Company evidently realise that good principals are not everything, and they give us an ensemble that in a touring company is entirely praiseworthy.

'Last night Mr van Noorden conducted, and chorus and orchestra under his guidance contributed a large share in the success of the performance.'


The Carl Rosa Scottish Tour - 1911

The tour consisted of five weeks at three locations, two at Edinburgh (King's), two Glasgow (Grand), and one Greenock (King's).

The thirteen operas in the repertoire were: Mozart (Marriage of Figaro);  Benedict (Lily of Killarney);  Balfe (Bohemian Girl);  Thomas (Mignon);  Wallace (Maritana);  Wagner (Tannhäuser,  Lohengrin);  Verdi (Trovatore);  Gounod (Faust);  Goldmark (Queen of Sheba);  Bizet (Carmen);  Leoncavallo (Pagliacci);  Mascagni (Cavalleria Rusticana).

The schedule was:

Edinburgh, w/c 6 March:  Mon 6 Tannhäuser;  Tue 7  Carmen;  Wed 8  Lily of Killarney;  Thu 9 Marriage of Figaro;  Fri 10  Queen of Sheba;  Sat 11 m Cav & Pag;  Sat 11 e Trovatore.

Edinburgh, w/c 13 March:  Mon 13 Lohengrin;  Tue 14 Mignon;  Wed 15 Bohemian Girl;  Thu 16 Queen of Sheba;  Fri 17 Faust;  Sat 18 m Mignon; Sat 18 e Lily of Killarney.

Glasgow, w/c 20 March:  Mon 20 Mignon;  Tue 21 Faust;  Wed 22 Lily of Killarney;  Thu 23 Queen of Sheba;  Fri 24 Trovatore;  Sat 25 m Mignon; Sat 25 e Bohemian Girl.

Glasgow, w/c 27 March:  Mon 27 Carmen;  Tue 28 Cav & Pag;  Wed 29 Queen of Sheba;  Thu 30 Mignon;  Fri 31 Tannhäuser;  Sat 1 Apr m Queen of Sheba;  Sat 1 Apr e Lly of Killarney.

Greenock, w/c 3 April:  Mon 3 Carmen;  Tue 4 Faust;  Wed 5 Maritana:  Thu 6 Queen of Sheba;  Fri 7 Tannhäuser;  Sat 8 m Mignon;  Sat 8 e Bohemian Girl.

Performance Cast

Moralès a corporal of dragoons

Richard Carter (Mar 7)

Micaëla a peasant girl

Rita Wallace (Mar 7)

Ina Hill (Mar 27)

Don José a corporal of dragoons

Walter Wheatley (Mar 7)

Gordon Thomas (Mar 27)

Zuniga a lieutenant of dragoons

Alexander Richard (Mar 7)

Carmen a gypsy

Doris Woodall (Mar 7, 27)

Frasquita a gypsy, Carmen’s friend

Hilda Morris (Mar 7)

Mercédès a gypsy, Carmen’s friend

Annie Van Dyck (Mar 7)

Lillas Pastia an innkeeper

Albert Felton (Mar 7)

Escamillo a toreador

Dudley Marcus (Mar 7)

Hebden Foster (Mar 27)

Dancaïre a smuggler

Frederick Clendon (Mar 7)

Remendado a smuggler

William O'Connor (Mar 7)

Production Cast


Walter van Noorden (Mar 7, 27)


Henry Hersee

Performance DatesCarmen 1911

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

7 Mar, 19.30

Grand Theatre, Glasgow | Glasgow

27 Mar, 19.15

King's Theatre, Greenock | Greenock

3 Apr, 19.30

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