Opera Scotland

Faust 1915Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Faust

This was the first visit to Scotland by the Carl Rosa since the outbreak of war.  The continuing popularity of Faust, or its source text by Goethe,  is clearly not diminished by the widespread anti-German sentiment that temporarily reduced the popularity of even the most common of Wagner's works.

 

The Glasgow opinion

Glasgow Herald:  Wednesday, 24 February 1915 (p13)

Carl Rosa Company Faust

Faust drew out a crowded audience to the Glasgow Theatre Royal last night, and met with its usual attention and appreciation.  Apart from Wagner, the provincial operatic repertory owes little to Germany.  Indeed the German Tannhäuser and Lohengrin are probably less valuable assets to the Carl Rosa management than the English Bohemian Girl and Maritana.  The French Carmen and Faust are also stock operas for which the demand never fails.

'Faust may have many faults.  It is little more than a caricature of Goethe, and, except in some of its love music, never rises to any great heights as composition.  But its story of the magic transformation of age to youth, of woman's trust and man's deception, of heaven for injured innocence and a pit of sulphur for the wrongdoer, appeals to the popular imagination, and is found irresistible set to attractive melody and served up in more or less detached numbers.

'Last night the opera ran effectively from overture to final curtain, and all the popular pieces - the ''Jewel Song,'' the ''Soldiers' Chorus'' and the rest - had a full share in the applause.  Mr Hughes Macklin filled the title part with the greatest acceptance; the new tenor undoubtedly strengthens the company.  Miss Beatrice Miranda, in place of Miss Pauline Donnan, gave a finished account of the music of Marguerie; Mr Arthur Winckworth repeated his fine study of Mephistopheles; and for the rest there were Mr Frank Clarke as Valentine, Mr Walter Underwood as Wagner, Miss Phyllis Davies as Siebel, and Miss Jean Douglas Wilson as Martha.  Chorus and orchestra were ecellent, and the performance was anly conducted by Mr Eugene Goossens.'

 

An Edinburgh View

Scotsman: Thursday, 18  March 1915 (p6)

The Carl rosa Opera Company - Faust

'Of Gounod's great masterpiece the public never tire, and there was a large audience last night at the Lyceum to hear it once again.  For this continued popularity among the changing moods of public taste common to all the arts, there are substantial reasons.  The story makes a very human appeal, relating, as it does, to a phase of the eternal struggle between the powers of light and darkness; and on its music - its airs, its choral work, and its orchestration - the composer exercised all the powers of that fertile genius which set him in the front rank of French musicians.

'From the Carl Rosa Company, under the leadership of Mr Goossens, the opera received last night an admirable rendering.  Two of the principals - the Marguerite and the Faust - were heard for the first time in Edinburgh on these parts.  Miss Julia Caroli's performance of Marguerite was eminently satisfactory.  She has a light soprano voice of fine lyrical quality, with more than a touch of tenderness in it, which fits her well for a rôle in which so many distinguished sopranos have won fame.  She also looked the part well, acted with distinction, and was able to present the unfortunate heroine of the tale in an appropriate atmosphere of poetry and romance.  Mention must also be made of her distinct articulation.  Not a word was lost in any of her songs.  The high training her voice has received was well exemplified in the florid Jewel Song;  and she used it with dramatic effect in the cathedral scene of the third act, which was impressively rendered.

'Mr Hughes Macklin, a young Carl Rosa recruit, was Faust.  Tenors with such a remarkably fine voice as that possessed by Mr Macklin have often been excused for shortcomings in their acting.  In that important department of his art Mr Macklin is still a novice.  But his singing throughout was most enjoyable, clear, sweet, and cultured, and though he was far from an ideal lover, he yet invested the garden music with much charm.

'Two such tried artistes as Mr Winckworth as Mephistopheles, and Mr Hebden Foster as Valentine, contributed much to the success of the opera, and a pleasing Siebel was presented by Miss Phyllis Davies, whose two songs if lacking somewhat in emotion were still rendered with much taste.  The singing of the chorus, after the Fair scene, which was not so precise as it might have been, was exceedingly tuneful and controlled, and to the  rendering of the instrumental part praise can be heartily accorded.'

 

The Carl Rosa Scottish tour - 1915

The Carl Rosa Scottish tour in spring 1915 consisted of three weeks in Glasgow (Theatre Royal), followed by two weeks in Edinburgh (Lyceum).

The fifteen operas performed were by Mozart (Don GiovanniMagic Flute);  Wagner (Tannhäuser);  Verdi (Trovatore,  Aïda); Balfe (Bohemian Girl);  Wallace (Maritana);  Nicolai (Merry Wives of Windsor);  Gounod (Faust);  Thomas (Mignon);  Offenbach (Tales of Hoffmann);  Bizet (Carmen);  Leoncavallo (Pagliacci);  Mascagni (Cavalleria Rusticana);  Wolf-Ferrari (Jewels of the Madonna)

The performance schedule was as follows:

Glasgow, w/c 22 February: Mon 22 Tales of Hoffmann; Tue 23 Faust;  Wed 24 Aïda;  Thu 25 Jewels of the Madonna;  Fri 26 Carmen;  Sat 27 m Tales of Hoffmann;  Sat 27 e Bohemian Girl.

Glasgow, w/c  1 March: Mon 1 Mar Cav & Pag; Tue 2 Magic Flute;  Wed 3 Tannhäuser;  Thu 4 Mignon;  Fri 5 Tales of Hoffmann;  Sat 6 m Aïda;  Sat 6 e Maritana.

Glasgow, w/c 8 March: Mon 8 Mar Don Giovanni;  Tue 9 Faust;  Wed 10 Trovatore;  Thu 11 Merry Wives of Windsor;  Fri 12 Aïda;  Sat 13 m Carmen;  Sat 13 e Tales of Hoffmann.

Edinburgh, w/c 15 March: Mon 15 Tales of Hoffmann;  Tue 16 Tannhäuser;  Wed 17 Faust;  Thu 18  Magic Flute;  Fri 19 Aïda;  Sat 20 m Carmen;  Sat 20 e Trovatore.

Edinburgh, w/c 22 March: Mon 22 Cav & Pag;  Tue 23 Tales of Hoffmann;  Wed 24 Mignon;  Thu 25 Merry Wives of Windsor;  Fri 26 Don Giovanni;  Sat 27 m Aïda;  Sat 27 e Tales of Hoffmann.

Performance Cast

Faust a learned doctor

Hughes Macklin (Feb 23; Mar 17)

Méphistophélès the devil

Arthur Winckworth (Feb 23; Mar 17)

Valentin Marguerite's brother

Frank Clarke (Feb 23)

Hebden Foster (Mar 17)

Wagner a student of Dr Faust

Walter Underwood (Feb 23)

Marguerite

Beatrice Miranda (Feb 23)

Julia Caroli (Mar 17)

Siébel a student of Dr Faust, in love with Marguerite

Phyllis Davies (Feb 23; Mar 17)

Marthe a neighbour

Jean Douglas-Wilson (Feb 23)

Performance DatesFaust 1915

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

23 Feb, 19.15 9 Mar, 19.15

Royal Lyceum Theatre | Edinburgh

17 Mar, 19.30

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