Opera Scotland

Faust 1911Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Faust

E C Hedmondt had now been singing Faust regularly for twenty years.  It was by no means the heaviest role in his repertoire, which also included such parts as Tannhäuser, Lohengrin, Don José and Canio.  He clearly looked after his voice and was able to sing a wide range of parts.

Faust was also in the repertoire of the Moody-Manners company, which was touring Scotland at the same time.  However any unfortunate clash was avoided this time as Carl Rosa performed in the central belt (Edinburgh, Glasgow and Greenock) while Moody-Manners ventured further north (Aberdeen and Dundee).


An Edinburgh Report

Scotsman:  Saturday, 18 March 1911 (p6)

Carl Rosa Opera Company in Faust

'A wholly enjoyable performance of Faust was given by the Carl Rosa Opera Company last night in the King's Theatre.  Some interest was added to the production by the inclusion of a new Welsh tenor, Mr Gordon Thomas, in the title role.  He has a voice of great sweetness and purity of tone, and, as he also shows much power of expression, he may, with further experience, go far.

'Miss Ina Hill's rendering of Marguerite was a finished performance, both vocally and dramatically.  It is difficult to say in which act she most excelled.  Perhaps her voice thrilled the audience to the highest pitch in the prison scene, but from start to finish she rivetted the attention of her hearers.

'The part of Mephistopheles was undertaken by Mr Arthur Winckworth.  His appearance was very convincing, and he sang and acted with power.   The Valentine was Mr Hebden Foster.  Great praise is due to him on account of his acting in the duel and the death scene, where he curses Marguerite.

'Miss Phyllis Archibald made a dainty Siebel, and Miss Douglas Wilson a motherly Martha.  The chorus sang with spirit and full rich tone,  as they have done throughout the two weeks' engagement in Edinburgh.

'The work was splendidly staged, the lighting effects being particularly effective, and the performance had, under the leadership of Mr Eugene Goossens, a very flattering reception.' 


Two Glasgow Reviews

Glasgow Herald:  Wednesday, 22 March 1911  (p9)

Opera in Glasgow - Faust

'The performance of Faust by the Carl Rosa Company at the Grand Theatre last night was well worthy the generous patronage it received.  The work was splendidly sung, and for once in a while the acting in the principal parts reached a level that compelled the heartiest admiration.  With Mr E C Hedmondt in the title role, one became impressed by the romance and glamour of the drama.  That was not surprising, for Mr Hedmondt has always combined the quality of fine acting with artistic singing.  What did astonish one, however, was to find so much beauty in a voice that has seen strenuous service for many years.  In the music of the garden scene Mr Hedmondt's singing was without flaw, and throughout the performance he maintained a standard worthy of his earlier triumphs on the operatic stage.

'Miss Ina Hill's Marguerite was likewise marked by artistic singing and sympathetic acting.  The Jewel Song was brilliantly sung, with a real sense of the joyousness aroused by the contents of the casket.  Mr Winckworth has so often represented Mephistopheles that the part has long since lost its sense of novelty for him, but one always welcomes him, for his rich, sonorous singing, and avoidance of mere buffoonery  in the interpretation of character.

'Satisfactory in all respects also were Mr Hebden Foster as Valentine and Miss Phyllis Archibald as Siebel.  The chorus and orchestra, under Mr Van Noorden, gave of their best, and the opera was well staged.


Scottish Referee: 24 March 1911

'Mr Hedmondt was a capital Faust, and though suffering from a slight cold, he sang with powerful effect throughout.  Marguerite was charmingly portrayed by Miss Ina Hill, who achieved notable success in the Jewel Song, her cultured voice being heard to the best advantage.  Mr Arthur Winckworth was effective as Mephistopheles, and gave an artistic rendering of the Calf of Gold song and the mocking serenade.'


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.


The cast for Glasgow given in the preview essay (see under Mignon) is incomplete, but does mention Mr Alexander Richard (who must be Wagner).  Martha is included with the others in the Scotsman review

Performance Cast

Faust a learned doctor

Gordon Thomas (Mar 17)

Charles Hedmondt (Mar 21)

Méphistophélès the devil

Arthur Winckworth (Mar 17, 21)

Valentin Marguerite's brother

Hebden Foster (Mar 17, 21)

Wagner a student of Dr Faust

Alexander Richard (Mar 21)


Ina Hill (Mar 17, 21)

Siébel a student of Dr Faust, in love with Marguerite

Phyllis Archibald (Mar 17, 21)

Marthe a neighbour

Jean Douglas-Wilson (Mar 17)

Performance DatesFaust 1911

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

17 Mar, 19.30

Grand Theatre, Glasgow | Glasgow

21 Mar, 19.15

King's Theatre, Greenock | Greenock

4 Apr, 19.30

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