Opera Scotland

H M S Pinafore 1906D'Oyly Carte Principal Repertoire Company

Read more about the opera H M S Pinafore


The works performed, all by Gilbert and Sullivan, were:  Trial By Jury H M S Pinafore;  Pirates of Penzance;  Patience;  Iolanthe;  Princess Ida;  Mikado;  Yeomen of the Guard;  and Gondoliers.

The Dundee schedule was as follows:

W/c 17 December:  Mon 17 Mikado;  Tue 18 Iolanthe;  Wed 19 Gondoliers;  Thu 20 Yeomen of the Guard;  Fri 21 Pirates of Penzance & Trial By Jury;  Sat 22 m Patience;  Sat 22 e Mikado;  Sun 23 Charity Concert.

W/c 24 December:  Mon 24 Gondoliers;  Tue 25 Patience;  Wed 26 Mikado;  Thu 27 HMS Pinafore & Trial By Jury;  Fri 28 Princess Ida;  Sat 29 m Yeomen of the Guard;  Sat 29 e Yeomen of the Guard.

Further Scottish dates to be confirmed.

The weather was unusually vile, blizzards of snow affecting audiences and causing challenges for the singers.  The lead contralto, Theresa Russam, missed the first week due to cold.  No sooner had she returned to performing than the lead soprano, Hope Hastings, and mezzo, Lulu Evans, succumbed in turn.  The understudies were certainly kept busy, though only one performance (Pinafore) seems to have attracted critical wrath.


This single performance was coupled with a second performance of Trial By Jury.


Two Dundee Reviews

Dundee Advertiser: Friday, December 28 1906    p2

Her Majesty’s Theatre - D’Oyly Carte Company

 'Looking to the reputation of Pinafore it is curious to recollect that when the opera was produced in 1878 the receipts were so meagre that the management thought of throwing the thing overboard.  But the work was destined to establish the Gilbert-Sullivan fortunes.  It might be described the bud from which, surely and beautifully, developed the perfect flower of art that shows in The Mikado.  Its humour and melody, neither rich nor constantly choice, still gave promise of something irresistible and exquisite; and so one goes back to it with interest.  Last night’s performance, given before an audience larger than the weather suggested, and very appreciative, was remarkable for the way in which the performers contrived to so far overcome depressing conditions.  For the night was wretched, and its chill made it difficult to be merry; while colds had affected some of the voices.

'The earlier passages were inclined to be dull, and a little both of the solo and choral singing was inclined to be flat.  There was, too, a certain deficiency of confidence among one or two of the principals.  But these defects served, or ought to have served, to bring to mind the severe tests of a long repertory conducted under wintry circumstances well calculated to damp the spirits of players and affect trained voices.  And, on the whole, the acting and vocalisation were quite what one expected from this body of artistes.

'From the printed cast there were two departures.  In place of Miss Hope Hastings Josephine was sung by Miss Mabel Graham, and sung with something like brilliant effect.  Miss Lulu Evans, too, was absent, and her part of Hebe was played very prettily by Miss Engholm, who sang most daintily.  Miss Theresa Rassam was, of course, an ideal Buttercup.  Mr Walenn’s Sir Joseph was quietly studied and sung with a crisp comicality.  Mr Leicester Tunks’ handsome presence and fine voice made the most of the Captain, and Mr Strafford Moss, though a little spiritless in acting, was admirable in his singing, despite a trace of cold.  Then, of course, Mr Billington was abundantly amusing as Dick Deadeye, and sang, we thought, better than ever.

'Trial by Jury followed, but as it, like Pinafore, does not figure again on the programme it is not necessary to consider the performance.   To-night is to be given Princess Ida, an opera not well known to the majority of admirers of the Gilbert-Sullivan compositions, but one that repays study.   And on Saturday the visit terminates with, both afternoon and evening, The Yeomen of the Guard, brilliantly rendered last week.'


Dundee Courier & Argus: Friday, December 27 1906

The D’Oyly Carte Opera Company - Pinafore and Trial by Jury

 'The blizzard has wrought sad havoc among the principals of the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company, for two of the leading ladies were off duty last night.  In spite of this, however, the performance was much enjoyed by a large audience.

'HMS Pinafore is a work which must have recalled happy memories to many of those present last night.  It was first played here as far back as 1878, and was, if we mistake not, the first of the Gilbert and Sullivan series to be heard in Dundee.  Many changes have happened since then, but there must have been some in the house last night who heard the first performance of HMS Pinafore in Dundee.

'Despite the very regrettable absence of Miss Hope Hastings, whose Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance, which immediately succeeded HMS Pinafore, was so brilliant a success last week, and of Miss Lulu Evans, whose soubrette roles have throughout been most happily filled, last night’s performance was a bright and merry one.

'Miss Mabel Graham made a charming Josephine.  She was a little overweighted by her first solo, but she sang the great scena in the second act with much brilliance.  Miss L Engholm was a smart Cousin Hebe, and Miss Theresa Rassam was very welcome in her strongly dramatic and vocally telling impersonation of Little Buttercup.

'Mr Charles R Walenn as the First Lord of the Admiralty was quaintly and decorously humorous.  He was funnier still when he forgot his decorum and danced all over the place in the tuneful trio “Never mind the why and wherefor.”  Mr Leicester Tunks sang gallantly as Captain Corcoran, and Mr Fred Billington lent to the part of Dick Deadeye a vocal and dramatic significance greatly in excess of the real value of the part.  Mr Strafford Moss sang pleasantly as Ralph Rackstraw, and Mr Albert Kavanagh was an ideal Bill Bobstay, rugged, hearty, and vocally magnificent.

'HMS Pinafore was succeeded by Trial by Jury, one of the earliest of the Gilbert and Sullivan works.  Its performance was notable for the finely mellow and humorous playing and singing of Mr E A White as the Judge, and the tuneful singing of Miss Graham as the Plaintiff.  Mr Albert Kavanagh made also a dignified Counsel for Plaintiff, and Mr George Sinclair was quaintly droll as the Usher.

'To-night Princess Ida, one of the most classical and artistic of the Gilbert and Sullivan series, will be played.'

Performance Cast

Little Buttercup Mrs Cripps, a Portsmouth Bumboat Woman

Theresa Rassam (Dec 27)

Bill Bobstay Boatswain's mate

Albert Kavanagh (Dec 27)

Dick Deadeye Able Seaman

Fred Billington (Dec 27)

Ralph Rackstraw Able Seaman

Strafford Moss (Dec 27)

Captain Corcoran commanding H.M.S. Pinafore

Leicester Tunks (Dec 27)

Josephine the Captain's Daughter

Mabel Graham (Dec 27)

Rt. Hon. Sir Joseph Porter, KCB First Lord of the Admiralty

Charles R Walenn (Dec 27)

Hebe Sir Joseph's First Cousin

Lilias Engholm (Dec 27)

Performance DatesH M S Pinafore 1906

Map List

Her Majesty's Theatre, Dundee | Dundee

27 Dec, 19.30

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