Opera Scotland

Carmen 1916Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Carmen

A review of a performance

The Scotsman review (29 February) called the performance admirable.

"Undeterred by the darkened city, or the stormy night, there ws a large audience, who, judging by the applause which which the opera was received, were well satisfied with the work of the company. Though now a stock piece in the repertory of every opera company, the inherent qualities of the dramatic story on which it is based, and the appropriate and admirable music to which it is set, gives to Carmen a perennial freshness; and a better rendering of this work could not have beeen desired. It had everything in its favour.

There was  a strong cast, the chorus was in excellent form, the dressing and setting of the piece were of a very pleasant nature, and the conductor, Mr de la Fuentes, may be complimented on the able way in which he kept his forces in hand and got their best out of the orchestra and the vocalists."

"Miss Christine Oliver, the Carmen of the evening, has not (so far as one can remember) played this important part before in Edinburgh.  It was an outstanding performance. While realistic in her rendering of the fickle and passionate gipsy girl, she never ceased to be artistic. She struck a tragic note at the very beginning, perhaps at that stage a trifle intense, and maintained her acting throughout at a high level of excellence, and she also sang with power and with appropriate dramatic feeling. 

The Micaela music, scored with serenity, and in so marked contrast to the ardent outpourings of her gipsy rival, was charmingly rendered by Miss Elizabeth Burgess.  Mr Edward Davies did justice both on its acting and musical side to the role of Don Jose; Mr Hebden Foster made a sufficiently Escamillo, and his Toreador song received the usual encore.  Two parts in capable hands were those of the gipsies, Dancaire and Remendado, played respectively by Mr Frederick Clendon and Mr Robert Brookes; and in the quintette in the second act, which was excellently sung, they contributed much to its success."


The 1916 Scottish Tour

The Scottish circuit that year consisted of two weeks at Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum, followed by three at Glasgow’s Theatre Royal. Advertisements state that the orchestra included fifty performers.

w/c Monday 21 Feb Tales of Hoffmann; Tue Aïda; Wed Tannhauser; Thu Trovatore; Fri Cav and Pag; Sat m Faust; Sat e Bohemian Girl.

w/c Monday 28 Feb Carmen; Tue Tales of Hoffmann; Wed Mignon; Thu Magic Flute; Fri Faust*; Sat m Tales of Hoffmann; Sat e Maritana.

w/c Monday 6 March Tales of Hoffmann; Tue Carmen; Wed Faust; Thu Trovatore; Fri Cav and Pag; Sat m Aïda; Sat e Maritana.

w/c Mon 13 March Tannhauser; Tue Tales of Hoffmann; Wed Aïda; Thu Magic Flute; Fri Faust; Sat m Tales of Hoffmann; Sat e Bohemian Girl.

w/c Mon 20 March Carmen; Tue Mignon; Wed Cav and Pag; Thu Attack on the Mill; Fri Tales of Hoffmann; Sat m Faust; Sat e Trovatore.

The whole amounted to seven performances of Tales of Hoffmann; five of Faust; three of Aïda, Cav and Pag, Carmen, and Trovatore; two of Tannhauser, Bohemian Girl, Mignon, Maritana, and Magic Flute; one of Attack on the Mill.

  • The advertised performance in Edinburgh of Attack on the Mill was replaced by one of Faust. The latter performance was seemingly not reviewed.

Performance Cast

Don José a corporal of dragoons

Edward Davies

Micaëla a peasant girl

Elizabeth Burgess

Carmen a gypsy

Christine Oliver

Escamillo a toreador

Hebden Foster

Dancaïre a smuggler

Frederick Clendon

Remendado a smuggler

Robert Brookes

Performance DatesCarmen 1916

Map List

Royal Lyceum Theatre | Edinburgh

28 Feb, 19.30

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

7 Mar, 19.15 20 Mar, 19.15

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