Opera Scotland

Zauberflöte 1915Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Magic Flute

The Dent translation, introduced in 1913, made the opera accessible, and remained in use until the 1970s, when updated versions became available.  It is interesting that an opera now seen as almost commonplace, was, at this stage, still seen as particularly difficult to pull off.


Edinburgh Opinion

Scotsman, Friday 19 March 1915 (p7)

Carl Rosa Opera Company - Mozart's Magic Flute

'Variety is the keynote of the repertoire of the Carl Rosa Opera Company during this visit to Edinburgh.  Offenbach's Tales of Hoffmann,  Wagner's Tannhäuser, Gounod's Faust, were a trio of striking contrasts with which to open the week.  Last night a fine production was given of Mozart's Magic Flute, under the able conductorship of Mr Van Noorden.

'Produced in Vienna towards the close of the eighteenth century, its libretto has been the despair of analysts, but its music has by the people been acclaimed as a thing of beauty and a joy forever.  The work abounds with solos, trios, quintets, and other concerted pieces that have passed into the permanent literature of music.  Only by a first-rate company may justice be done to such music.  Last night the materials were all there.

'The Tamino of Mr Edward Davies was excellent not only vocally - and he is among our best operatic tenors - but in the clear delivery of the words, which is always enjoyable, especially in a piece in which the dramatic nexus is often obscure.  Mr Winckworth as Sarastro had an opportunity of revealing the depth and sonority of his real basso profundo;  he had three curtains after a magnificent rendering of ''Within this Hallowed Dwelling.''  Miss Pauline Donnan was well suited in the florid music attached to the part of the Queen of the Night;  ''Sorrow and Anguish'' was an outstanding solo of the performance, being delivered with great pathos and perfection of tone.

'Mr Frederick Clendon not only sang his music tunefully and artistically;  he had caught the humorous aspect of the part of the bird-catcher Papageno, and his antics lent enjoyment to an opera which has moments so solemn that some critics have interpreted it as an operatic version of Freemasonry.  Miss Dorothy Lawson Taylor sang sweetly in the minor part of Papagena.  There were excellent points, both in vocalisation and diction, in Miss Elizabeth Burgess's interpretation of the music of Pamina; and the Three Ladies of the Night, Miss Winifred Geverding, Miss Lina Ravelli, and Miss Mona Ryley, were always well attuned in the musiic set for them.

'The scenery was sufficiently correctly Egyptian (from the point of view of the theatre)  to suit the piece.  The orchestra was kept in hand by Mr Van Noorden; and if the audience did not quite equal in numbers the merits of the production, it was sufficiently large to justify the management of the Carl Rosa Opera Company in offering to Edinburgh, even in these troublous times, the highest art.'


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

Tamino a Prince

Edward Davies (Mar 18)

First Lady in attendance on the Queen

Winifred Geverding (Mar 18)

Second Lady in attendance on the Queen

Lina Ravelli (Mar 18)

Third Lady in attendance on the Queen

Mona Ryley (Mar 18)

Papageno a bird-catcher

Frederick Clendon (Mar 18)

Queen of Night

Pauline Donnan (Mar 18)

Pamina daughter of the Queen of Night

Elizabeth Burgess (Mar 18)

Sarastro High Priest of Isis and Osiris

Arthur Winckworth (Mar 18)

Papagena disguised as an old woman

Dorothy Lawson-Taylor (Mar 18)

Performance DatesZauberflöte 1915

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

2 Mar, 19.15

Royal Lyceum Theatre | Edinburgh

18 Mar, 19.30

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