Opera Scotland

Carmen 1907Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Carmen

The Greenock Telegraph (14 March) reported "Last night Bizet's grand and ever popular opera Carmen was staged before an audience which practically filled every part of the Alexandra Theatre.  Its reception was of the most enthusiastic kind, and the enthusiasm seemed to be wafted across the footlights, for the artistes one and all seemed to enter into the spirit of the story with their whole soul,  the result being a performance of such all-round excellence as will linger long in the memory of all who were fortunate enough to be present. Miss Doris Woodall was in magnificent voice, and played Carmen to perfection, both her acting and singing being of a high order.  As Micaela, Miss Elzabeth Burgess could not have been surpassed, her beautiful soprano voice being heard to great advantage in the exquisite music allotted to the part.  Mr Charles Victor appeared as the swaggering bull-fighter Escamillo, and his great toreador song was rapturously applauded and had to be repeated.  Mr Edward Davies made his first appearance this week as Don Jose, and his beautiful tenor voice was heard to great advanatage. He also acted with much intensity, especially in the last scene, and with Miss Woodall scored quite a triumph.  All the smaller parts were admirably filled, and the chorus singing was, in a word, superb.

We must not omit a special word of praise to the orchestra, skilfully and admirably conducted by Mr Walter van Noorden, who is a musician to his finger tips, and brought out all the beauties of the orchestration to the minutest detail.  The staging of the opera was on a scale of great completeness, the magnificent scenery having been generally painted for the production, while the dresses were a perfect dream of loveliness, especially in the last act."

The reviewer in the Scotsman (21 March), found "The part of Prosper Merimée's gipsy woman is one which, by reason of its intense realism and frank unconventionality, somewhat repelled the prima donnas of a generation ago; but now that realism on the stage is 'the only wear' these qualities become actual merits, and the part is much run after by the mezzo-soprano of dramatic leanings.  Miss Woodall may be at once accepted as one of the most strikingly successful Carmens that provincial opera-goers have had the opportunity of hearing.  She had a large choice of previous interpretations of the part to draw upon for imitation, from the super-refined and lady-like flirt of Madame Marie Roze, to the alluring wanton of Miss Zélie de Lussan; but it is due to her to say that she gave the part a character that in many points was her own, and succeeded admirably in realising in the first act the grace and coquetry, in the second the passionate wilfulness, and in the third and fourth the fatalistic obstinacy of the gipsy woman.  Vocally, Miss Woodall seemed to find the part suited to her voice, which, if a trifle hard in the upper notes, has sufficient of the sensuous quality to enable her to realise all the moods of Carmen.

The production of Bizet's grand opera was all over on a scale of high excellence.  The scenery and dressing were rich in colour; the choral work was steady and tuneful, and the orchestra in particular distinguished itself under the leadership of Mr Walter van Noorden, by a subdued yet thoroughly articulate rendering of the beutiful and expressive score. The Jose of Mr Julius Walther was better vocally than in its dramatic aspects; he was atrifle stagey, and his passionate outbursts were overdone.  But in all his special music, and most of all in the fine love appeal in the tavern scene, he sang with culture and feeling.  Mr Charles Victor's Escamillo also inevitably suggested comparisons with more distinguished figures that have played the part; but the Toreador Song was well sung, and the last verse had to be repeated." 

"Miss Ina Hill as Frasquita and Miss Dorothy Mayfield as Mercedes both sang charmingly, and lent distinction to music which is too commonly consigned to second-rate artists.  The simple and expressive music of Michaela was tastefully rendered by Miss Elizabeth Burgess.  A large audience accorded a most attentive hearing to the opera, and at the end of each act the chief singers had to reappear in response to clamorous applause."

In 1907, Carl Rosa Opera in Scotland spent two weeks at the Glasgow Grand, one at the Alexandra, Greenock and finally one at Edinburgh King’s Theatre (7.30;2pm)

w/c 25 February Mon Marriage of Figaro; Tue Trovatore; Wed Merry Wives of Windsor; Thu Fidelio Fri Cavand Pag; Sat m Tannhauser; Sat e Rigoletto.

w/c 4 Mar Mon Don Giovanni; Tue Lohengrin; Wed Faust; Thu Carmen; Fri Fidelio; Sat m Merry Wives of Windsor; Sat m Trovatore.

w/c 11 Mar Mon Lohengrin; Tue Marriage of Figaro; Wed; Thu Fidelio; Fri Merry Wives of Windsor; Sat m Tannhauser; Sat e Faust.

w/c 18 Mar Mon Tannhauser; Tue Don Giovanni; Wed Carmen; Thu Faust; Fri Merry Wives of Windsor; Sat m Fidelio; Sat e Trovatore.


4 Merry Wives of Windsor; Fidelio.

Trovatore; Tannhauser; Faust; Carmen

Marriage of Figaro; Don Giovanni; Lohengrin.

Rigoletto; Cav and Pag.

12 operas, 28 performances QED.  

Performance Cast

Mercédès a gypsy, Carmen’s friend

Dorothy Mayfield (20 Mar)

Frasquita a gypsy, Carmen’s friend

Ina Hill (20 Mar)

Carmen a gypsy

Doris Woodall (13 Mar, 20 Mar)

Don José a corporal of dragoons

Edward Davies (13 Mar)

Julius Walther (20 Mar)

Escamillo a toreador

Charles Victor (13 Mar, 20 Mar)

Micaëla a peasant girl

Elizabeth Burgess (13 Mar, 20 Mar)

Performance DatesCarmen 1907

Map List

Grand Theatre, Glasgow | Glasgow

7 Mar, 19.30

Alexandra Theatre | Greenock

13 Mar, 19.30

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

20 Mar, 19.30

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