Opera Scotland

Lily of Killarney 1912Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Lily of Killarney

A single performance in Edinburgh was presumably enough to keep this still familiar work fresh.  It was cast from strength - clearly Myles was a favourite role for E C Hedmondt.  And Phyllis Archibald,  Frederick Clendon,  Hebden Foster and Charles Neville are also listed.  It seems they were also able to field a late replacement for an indisposed singer.

It is perhaps surprising that the event was on a Wednesday evening, rather than the Saturday usually set aside for the popular old favourites.  On this seven-week tour Saturday evening was graced variously by Il Trovatore (3 times), and Maritana (twice), with solitary performances of Faust and Carmen.

The complete cast for 21 February is as reviewed in the following morning's Scotsman.


The Edinburgh Opinion

Scotsman:  Thursday, 22 February 1912  (p6)

Carl Rosa Opera Company

Although The Lily of Killarney does not retain the place in public esteem it once had, the melodious music and the familiar story of the opera still ensure it a measure of popularity, and warrants its inclusion in the repertory of the Carl Rosa Opera Company.  It was composed by Sir Julius Benedict in the year 1862,  so that it has actually attained its jubilee.  Everyone is acquainted with the story of The Colleen Bawn, the subject of which was utilised as the libretto of the opera.  The plot lacks intensity, and the same level of interest is not always maintained, but it has romantic charm, and a suggestive picture of Irish life is given.

'As presented in the King's Theatre last night, the opera was much enjoyed,  and the popular numbers were received with the greatest heartiness.  Mr E C Hedmondt, who undertook the rôle of the careless, warm-hearted Myles,  was one of the outstanding figures of the evening.  His study of the character was distinguished by its sense of humour and of tragedy.  He was in fine voice, and his singing was, as usual, artistic.

'Miss Elizabeth Burgess appeard as the charming Eily O'Connor, and acted and sang most agreeably.  The Dannyman of Mr Hebden Foster was notably strong vocally,  and Mr Charles Neville made a handsom figure of Hardress Cregan.  At very short notice, Miss Dorothy Lawson-Taylor took the part of Ann Chute, which she portrayed with much credit.

'Miss Phyllis Archibald as Mrs Cregan,  and Mr Frederick Clendon as Corrigan, were both well suited.  The cast was completed by Miss Douglas-Wilson as Sheilah,  Mr Miller Reid as Father Tom, Mr Leslie Austin as Hyland,  and Mr William O'Connor as O'Moore.  Mr Eugene Goossens conducted, and obtained excellent results from the orchestra.

'To-night The Merry Wives of Windsor will be given.'


The Carl Rosa Scottish Tour - 1912

The tour lasted seven weeks:  Aberdeen 1 week (His Majesty's);  Dundee 1 week (Her Majesty's); Edinburgh 2 weeks (King's);  Greenock 1 week (King's);  Glasgow 2 weeks (Theatre Royal).

The thirteen operas performed were: Benedict (Lily of Killarney);  Nicolai (Merry Wives of Windsor); Thomas (Mignon);  Wallace (Maritana); Wagner (Tannhäuser,  Lohengrin);  Verdi (Trovatore); Gounod (Faust);  Goldmark (Queen of Sheba);  Bizet (Carmen);  Boito (Mefistofele); Leoncavallo (Pagliacci);  Mascagni (Cavalleria Rusticana).

The performance schedule was as follows

Aberdeen, w/c 29 January:  Mon 29 Mignon;  Tue 30 Tannhäuser; Wed 31 The Merry Wives of Windsor; Thu 1 Feb Faust; Fri 2 The Queen of Sheba; Sat 3 m Carmen;  Sat 3 e Il trovatore.

Dundee, w/c  5 February:  Mon 5 Mignon;  Tue 6 Faust;  Wed 7 Carmen;  Thu 8 Cav & Pag;  Fri 9 Queen of Sheba;  Sat 10 m Tannhäuser;  Sat 10 e Trovatore

Edinburgh, w/c 12 February:  Mon 12 Mignon;  Tue 13 Carmen;  Wed 14 Trovatore;  Thu 15 Lohengrin;  Fri 16 Queen of Sheba;  Sat 17 m Tannhäuser;  Sat 17 e Faust.

Edinburgh, w/c 19 February:  Mon 19 Cav & Pag;  Tue 20 Mefistofele;  Wed 21 Lily of Killarney;  Thu 22 Merry Wives of Windsor;  Fri 23 Mignon;  Sat 24 m Mefistofele;  Sat 24 e Maritana.

Greenock, w/c 26 February: Mon 26 tbc; Tue 27 tbc;  Wed 28 Trovatore;  Thu 29 Mignon;  Fri 1 March Mefistofele;  Sat 2 m tbc;  Sat 2 e Carmen.

Glasgow, w/c 4 March:  Mon 4 Tannhäuser;  Tue 5 Mefistofele;  Wed 6 Mignon;  Thu 7 Merry Wives of Windsor;  Fri 8 Lohengrin;  Sat 9 m Mefistofele;  Say 9 e Maritana.

Glasgow, w/c 11 March:  Mon 11 Cav & Pag;  Tue 12 Faust;  Wed 13  Queen of Sheba;  Thu 14 Mignon;  Fri 15 Mefistofele;  Sat 16 m Carmen;  Sat 16 e  Trovatore.

Performance Cast

Eily O'Connor the Colleen Bawn

Elizabeth Burgess (Feb 21)

Hardress Cregan secretly married to Eily

Charles Neville (Feb 21)

Danny Mann a boatman, devoted to Hardress

Hebden Foster (Feb 21)

Squire Corrigan holder of a mortgage on the Cregan lands

Frederick Clendon (Feb 21)

Father Tom Parish Priest of Kenmare

Miller Reid (Feb 21)

Myles na Coppaleen in love with Eily

Charles Hedmondt (Feb 21)

Mrs Cregan Hardress's mother

Phyllis Archibald (Feb 21)

Miss Ann Chute an heiress, the Colleen Rhud

Dorothy Lawson-Taylor (Feb 21)


Jean Douglas-Wilson (Feb 21)

Mr Bertie O'Moore

William O'Connor (Feb 21)

Hyland Creagh

Leslie Austin (Feb 21)

Performance DatesLily of Killarney 1912

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

21 Feb, 19.30

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