Opera Scotland

Jeanie Deans 1895Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Jeanie Deans

Of the sole performance in Scotland on this spring tour, the Scotsman (8 May) said 'The attendance was disappointingly meagre, and contrasted significantly with the crowded audiences when the new Scottish opera was first produced under the leadership of its young composer. The glamour of the first night has passed away, and it is impossible to disguise the fact that "Jeanie Deans" hasawakened no more than a passing enthusiasm, and is already losing its interest fro the public. ...Both in the story and in the music of "Jeanie Deans" many of the elements that make for success in opera are lacking.'

'By far the best things in the opera are the moments when the composer allows himself to be natural, as in the dignified appeal of Deans in the opening scene ("O friends"), the duet between the sisters in the same act, and the Love Duet ("Ourselves our world.")  The Madge Wildfire music is throughout appropriate, and in the second scene of Act III, when Jeanie comes to ask the Laird for aid to take her to London to save her sister, the composer has admirably hit the humour of the situation, and is extremely happy.  Last night's audience gave the opera a hearty welcome, and the chief actors were more than once called before the curtain.'

'The performance as a whole was decidedly below the level attained on the last visit of the company.  This was chiefly the fault of the orchestra, which has no easy task set before it, but which might nevertheless, in justice to the work, to have had it more thoroughly rehearsed.'  

'Miss Marie Duma is well suited to the role of Jeanie Deans, and she spared no effort to make the performance a success.  After the Court scene, in which she sang with great power and feeling, she received a special call before the curtain.  As the unhappy Effie, Miss Minnie Hunt sang and acted with great simplicity and charm.  for the lullaby which she croons in the prison scene she was warmly applauded; and her duets with her lover Staunton were well maintained.  Mr Barton McGuckin, who played Staunton, did every justice to a somewhat thankless part.  His music is almost entirely of the declamatory and recitative character.   It is all the more creditable that he invested the part with a real interest.  His inging throughout the second act (Muschat's Cairn)  was powerful and impressive, and dramatically sound.  Miss Meisslinger made the most of Madge Wildfire's music.  Mr L. Pringle, as the Laird of Dumbiedykes, made a palpable hit in his ditty "I know a lass" and acted throughout with humour.  Mr A.  S Winckworth maintained the dignity of the old Cameronian Davie Deans, and his voice was heard to much advantage in the address, "My freinds."  The minor parts were all well sustained.'

As for the critic of the Edinburgh Evening News (8 May) 'An interval of six months has cooled the enthusiasm with which it was first greeted, and makes clariity of judgment possible.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Renewed acquaintance does but strengthen the opinion that this is a work of promise, not fulfilment. 

Performance Cast

Davie Deans a Cameronian, father of Jeanie and Effie

Arthur Winckworth

John Dumbie Laird of Dumbiedykes

Lempriere Pringle

Madge Wildfire an outcast gypsy

Luise Meisslinger

Effie Deans

Minnie Hunt

George Staunton alias Robertson, lover of Effie Deans

Barton McGuckin

Jeanie Deans

Marie Duma

Performance DatesJeanie Deans 1895

Map List

Royal Lyceum Theatre | Edinburgh

8 May, 00.00

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