Opera Scotland

Carmen 1906Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Carmen

The Glasgow Herald (7 March) commented:

"Carmen belongs to the operas that seem never to grow old.  It deals with elemental passions with the utmost force and directness. Its loves have none of the subtleties of the drawing-room; its hates are openly and fiercely expressed. 

The composer has not set the story of the fickle group to music; he has absorbed the story, and rethought it in musical terms. Music is always advancing, and Bizet's work must in the nature of the case be left behind.

But the great mass of operagoers show no signs yet they are tired of music of the old stamp. Bizet's strongly marked tunes and the blaze of orchestral colour with which he has surrounded them are more to the taste of the average man than the chains of 'unending melody' of the latest Wagner. 

Much of the success of Carmen depends on the artist who fills the title-role; Carmen is an acting part perhaps even more than a singing part. Madame Marie Alexander, who was the heroine of last night's performance of the Carl Rosa Company, is a capable singer, who, by appearances in a variety of roles, has shown some width of musical culture. Carmen, however, is not a role in which she acheives the highest success. Her performance has intensity, but it lacks charm.  Apart from the intrinsic merits, it suffers most of all from comparison with better known renderings. Last night, however, helped by the attractive music and her own earnestness, the singer managed to interest the fairly large audience in the Grand theatre.

Vocally and histrionically, Mr Julius Walther made an excellent Don Jose. Mr Frank Arthur was quite acceptable as Escamillo, and a sweetly melodious Micaela was found in Miss Grace Nicoll.

Commendable work was done by the exponents of the smaller parts and by the band and chorus; and the whole performance conducted by Mr Walter van Noorden showed a most satisfactory thoroughness in all manner of detail and finish."

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.


Tannhauser; Carmen; Rigoletto; Trovatore.

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

Tristan and Isolde; Marriage of Figaro.


Performance Cast

Carmen a gypsy

Marie Alexander

Don José a corporal of dragoons

Julius Walther

Escamillo a toreador

Frank Arthur

Micaëla a peasant girl

Grace Nicoll

Production Cast


Walter van Noorden

Performance DatesCarmen 1906

Map List

Alexandra Theatre | Greenock

1 Mar, 00.00

Grand Theatre, Glasgow | Glasgow

6 Mar, 00.00 24 Mar, 00.00

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