Opera Scotland

Tannhauser 1906Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Tannhäuser

A review appeared in the Greenock Telegraph (27 February)

The first performance at the Glasgow Grand was reviewed in the Glasgow Herald (6 March).

"When last season, after an absence of many years, the Carl Rosa Opera Company visited Glasgow, our musical amateurs were not long in discovering that the ancient glories of the combination had not passed away.  Nearly all the names on the list of artistes were unfamiliar, but a few performances revealed the presence of some singers and actors of quite exceptional strength.  Revivals of Mozart and Verdi, in which the highest results were obtained, confirmed the means of the company in better known works.  The encouragement received last spring has induced the management to make their present visit one of three weeks.   For the more serious musical public, the event of the first week will be the production of Fidelio on Saturday afternoon....The audience attracted last night to the Grand Theatre by Wagner's work completely filled the house in every part, and its performance, it may be said at once, was in several important respects the finest yet given in Glasgow.  The scenic setting and the ensemble could hardly have been improved on.    In the first act, Venusberg was no longer the dim dungeon in which Tannhauser seems like a melancholy prisoner, but became a grotto full of enchantments.  The ballet came within reasonable distance of Wagner's extraordinary demands, and the series of effective pictures they had for background gave the whole scene a distinctly fresh charm.  If the other scenes were more like what we are accustomed to, they were always fully adequate. Great care seemed to have been taken with the ensemble.  The concerted numbers on the stage, the distant choruses, the fitting together of details were managed with exceptional skill and finish.  The smaller parts, too, had more than usual attention.  Biterolf and Walther were not the incoherent, ridiculous persons they often are in the tournament of song; and a quite charming shepherd boy was found for the little solo in the first act.  On broad, general lines, Last night's performance of Tannhauser abundantly justified the 'special' with which the management qualified it in their advertisement in our columns. "

"Herr Julius Walther we heard as Tannhäuser for the first time.  Tannhäuser, as somebody has put it,  is a poet full of noble aspirations, his eyes turned imploringly to heaven, his hands clasped in prayer, but his feet glued to earth; the lusts of the body hold him fast.  Wagner's cure for the poison of sensualism is the love of a pure woman.  Through Elisabeth, Tannhauser finds redemption, but somehow at the fall of the curtain one is left with the impression that had he not died at just the right time he would have eventually fallen again into the hands of Venus.  Elisabeth, however, saved him at the critical moment, and he passed away repntant and absolved.   Herr Walther played his part througout with much intelligence and was also satisfactory as a singer.  His voice occasionally had a veiled quality, which points to some peculiarity of production, but it is always pleasant and musical.  Miss Hanna Mara, who sang the music of Elisabeth, and Miss Grace Nicoll, the Venus oof the evening, have joined the company since its last visit.  With the full, penetrating voices that are so serviceable in Wagner's music, both filled their roles with every acceptance.  The former was at her best in the Hall of Song, and the latter did much for the success of the second act. 

Mr Charles Victor as Wolfram and Mr Arthur Winckworth as the Landgrave were as satisfactory as ever; we shall have a chance to discuss them at greatre length later in the week.  To work done in the smaller roles by Miss Ina Hall, Mr Frank Arthur, and Mr Edward Wynn we have already referred.  Chorus and band proved efficient under the baton of Mr Eugene Goossens, who is to be congratulated on the excellent start the company has made under his guidance."

The full Carl Rosa itinerary in Scotland for 1906 was 

One week w/c 26 Feb at the Alexandria, Greenock then three weeks in Glasgow (w/c 5 Mar; 12 Mar; 19 Mar) at the Grand; 7.30pm and 2pm

Four weeks, seven performances. Twenty-eight.

w/c 26 Feb Mon Tannhauser; Tue Bohemian Girl; Wed Trovatore; Thu Carmen; Fri Lohengrin; Sat m Faust; Sat e Maritana.

w/c 5 Mar Mon Tannhauser; Tue Carmen; Wed Marriage of Figaro; Thu Faust; Fri Rigoletto; Sat m Fidelio; Sat e Bohemian Girl

w/c 12 Mar Mon Lohengrin; Tue Trovatore; Wed Fidelio; Thu Rigoletto; Fri Don Giovanni; Sat m Tannhauser; Sat e Maritana

w/c 19 Mar Mon Fidelio; Tue Rigoletto; Wed Trovatore; Thu Tristan and Isolde; Fri Fidelio; Sat m Don Giovanni; Sat e Carmen.

4 Fidelio

3 Tannhauser; Carmen; Rigoletto; Trovatore.

2 Maritana; Bohemian Girl; Lohengrin; Faust; Don Giovanni.

1 Tristan and Isolde; Marriage of Figaro.

28 performances.

Performance Cast

Elisabeth niece of the Landgrave

Hanna Mara

Tannhäuser a knight and minnesinger

Julius Walther

Hermann Landgrave of Thuringia

Arthur Winckworth


Grace Nicoll

Wolfram von Eschenbach a knight and minnesinger

Charles Victor

Production Cast


Eugene Goossens II

Performance DatesTannhauser 1906

Map List

Alexandra Theatre | Greenock

26 Feb, 00.00

Grand Theatre, Glasgow | Glasgow

5 Mar, 00.00 17 Mar, 14.00

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