Opera Scotland

Mignon 1911Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Mignon

The fact that Mignon had five performances over the two cities is an indication of the opera's lasting popularity, which continued until the beginning of the next decade.

A persistent nightmare for Glasgow audiences was the insistence of opera managements to bring their companies to the city simultaneously.  In a previous year, there was even one night when both companies were performing Tannhäuser.  While that ludicrous clash did not occur in 1911, the situation arose with not only Carl Rosa at the Grand and Moody-Manners at the King's, but the recently established Beecham company was also at the Alhambra.  Not only would this be inconvenient for audiences trying to budget, but it would inevitably harm the profitability of the companies and the theatre managements themselves.  There was even a suspicion that the well-funded Beecham might be deliberately trying to finish off at least the Moody-Manners, if not both rivals.


An Edinburgh Review

Scotsman: Wednesday, 15 March 1911  (p4)

Carl Rosa Opera Company in Mignon

'A great treat was provided by the Carl Rosa Company last night, when Ambroise Thomas' very popular opera Mignon was performed to an audience which crowded the theatre in every part.  The leading roles were sustained with great credit.  The part of Mignon, of course, claimed the attention of the audience from start to finish.  It was in the hands of Miss Doris Woodall, and both vocally and dramatically she realised the possibilities of the part to the full.  After the favourite song, ''Know'st thou that dear land?'' the applause was loud and sustained.

'The part of Filina was undertaken by Miss Beatrice Miranda.  All the trying, florid passages which abound in her solos were rendered with ease and clearness, the song ''I am Tytania'' having an electrifying effect on the audience.  Mr Walter Wheatley gave an excellent interpretation of Wilhelm, and Lothario was in the capable hands of Mr Arthur Winckworth.  The love-sick youth Frederick was portrayed by Miss Phyllis Archibald, and her singing of the lovely melody ''Here I stand in beauty's room'' was all that could be desired.  Mr Henry Beaumont, as Laertes, was a favourite with the audience, and the other parts were ably sustained.

'Special praise must be given to the chorus work.  The tone was rich and full, and all the choruses were sung with great spirit.  The concerted pieces, too, were given with telling effect, and altogether the performance was delightful.  The conductor, Mr Walter Van Noorden, was called on the stage at the end of the second and third acts, and had to bow his acknowledgments.'  

That evening's review in the Edinburgh Evening News  was simply a repeat of the Scotsman notice.


Preview of Glasgow Season

Scottish Referee:  Monday, 20 March 1911  (p6)

Glasgow Grand Theatre - Opening of Opera Season

'One of the events of the theatrical season in Glasgow is the annual visit of the Carl Rosa Opera Company, and during the next fortnight they will occupy the boards at the Grand Theatre.  It is somewhat unfortunate that there is again a clashing of dates, as the Moody-Manners are also in town.  For the opening week, the programme selected is one that will meet with the hearty approval of all opera lovers.  The company have just concluded a highly successful season in Edinburgh, and their stay in Glasgow is sure to be as successful as of yore.

'Mignon, by Ambroise Thomas, will be the opening attraction, and as this is a special production, there is certain to be a large audience.  The cast is a brilliant one, and will include Mr Walter Wheatley, Mr Arthur Winckworth, and Miss Doris Woodall, and Miss Beatrice Miranda, while the orchestra will be under the direction of Mr Walter Van Noorden.

'Tomorrow evening the ever-popular Faust will be presented, and the principals will be Mr E C Hedmondt, Mr Winckworth, Mr Hebden Foster and Mr Alexander Richard, with Miss Ina Hill as Marguerite.

'For Wednesday evening, The Lily of Killarney, founded on the story of The Colleen Bawn, will be produced, and the cast for this work is a large and representative one, and will include Messrs Hedmondt,  Clendon,  O'Connor, and Richard, while Miss Annie Van Dyck will make her first appearance of the week.

'Special interest is attached to the opera to be staged on Thursday evening, as it is the first production in the United Kingdom of Goldmark's Queen of Sheba, and this is sure to prove a powerful draw.  The list pf principals will be Messrs Winckworth, Hedmondt, and Richard, and Miss Miranda, Miss Van Dyke and Miss doris Woodall, while the conductor will be Mr Eugene Goossens.

'Friday evening has been set apart for a performance of Verdi's charming opera, Il Trovatore,  which is one of the most popular with Glasgow opera-goers.

'At a matinee on Saturday, a repeat performance will be given of Mignon, and the first week will be brought to a conclusion with a performance of Balfe's bright and tuneful work, The Bohemian Girl.

'The list is a highly attractive one, and seating accommodation should be at a premium during the week.'


A Glasgow Notice

Glasgow Herald:  Tuesday, 21 March 1911 (p7)

Opera in Glasgow

'The crowding of musical events in Glasgow between the close of the orchestral season and the Easter holidays seems to get worse every year.  The simultaneous appeal of the two principal touring opera companies has often been regretted, but no amount of regrets, publicly or privately expressed, have been able tobring about any arrangement between the managers for their own benefit. and for the benefit of opera lovers who wish to hear everything worth hearing.  This week not only are the Carl Rosa Opera Company at the Grand and the Moody-Manners Company at the King's, but there are the Beecham Opera Company at the Alhambra and an amateur company at the Princess's.  All this is bad business, but if it is an article in the creed of an operatic manager that his company is the only company there is nothing more to be said.

'The Carl Rosa company bring a revival and a novelty.  It is some seven years since Mignon was heard in Glasgow, and The Queen of Sheba is known only by hearsay.   The Moody-Manners Company have a semi-novelty in Verdi's The Masked Ball, and they will restage Saint-Saëns's Samson and Delilah, which was one of their successes last season.  For the rest, there are FaustThe Lily of Killarney Il TrovatoreThe Bohemian Girl The Daughter of the RegimentTannhäuser Carmen,  and Maritana.

Mignon is one of the many favourite operas of last century that on account of modern changes of taste are slipping into the past.  If it were a ballad opera like The Bohemian Girl or Maritana, it might still attract simpler music lovers.  But it is cast on bigger lines and finds difficulty in competing with its more serious rivals.  ''Knowest thou the land, the Gavotte, and ''I am Titania'' have passed into the salon and the concert-room, and thwill probably be found there when the opera has outlived its last revival.  Mignon, however, has still many attractions, and the fine performance of the Carl Rosa Company may give it a new lease of life in the provinces.

'There was a large audience in the Grand Theatre, and the piece was enthusiastically received.  The part of Mignon gave Miss Doris Woodall many opportunities for showing her abilitiy as actress as well as singer, and of those she tok full advantage.  Mr Wheatley was satisafactory as Wilhelm, and Mr Winckworth made the most of the rather thankless music of Lothario.  The other parts were in capable hands.

'Quite an outstanding feature of the performance was the smooth and attentive playing of the band under Mr Van Noorden's direction.  The chorus singing, too, was excellent, and the opera was well mounted.  Doubtless on its repetition on Saturday afternoon the musical public will turn out in large numbers to renew acquaintance with such a bright and melodious work.'


An Edinburgh Review of the Glasgow Performance

Scotsman:  Monday, 27 March 1911  (p6)

Carl Rosa Opera in Glasgow

'The Carl Rosa Opera Company gave a matinee performance in the Grand Theatre, Glasgow, on Saturday of Ambrose Thomas's work Mignon.  The house was filled, and vocally and histrionically a high point of excellence was reached by the company.

'In her interpretation of the difficult rôle of Mignon, Miss Doris Woodall gave an excellent performance.  Miss beatrice Miranda, as Filina, used her fine voice to good purpose.   The rich voice of Mr Arthur Winckworth and Mr Walter Wheatley's equally good vocal gifts were used with admirable effectiveness in the parts of Lothario and Wilhelm respectively.

'In the evening The Bohemian Girl was performed.'


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.


Cast details for 14 March are taken from a review in the Scotsman (15 March).  The partial cast for Glasgow's Saturday matinee on 25 March is from Monday's Scotsman.

Performance Cast

Mignon stolen in childhood

Doris Woodall (Mar 14, 20, 25 m)

Philine an actress

Beatrice Miranda (Mar 14, 25 m)

Frédéric a young nobleman

Phyllis Archibald (Mar 14)

Wilhelm Meister a student

Walter Wheatley (Mar 14, 20, 25 m)

Laërte an actor

Henry Beaumont (Mar 14)

Lothario a wandering minstrel

Arthur Winckworth (Mar 14, 20, 25 m)

Performance DatesMignon 1911

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

14 Mar, 19.30 18 Mar, 14.00

Grand Theatre, Glasgow | Glasgow

20 Mar, 19.15 25 Mar, 14.00 30 Mar, 19.15

King's Theatre, Greenock | Greenock

8 Apr, 14.00

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