Opera Scotland

Gondoliers 1904D'Oyly Carte Principal Repertoire Company

Read more about the opera Gondoliers



D'Oyly Carte in Scotland - 1904

Dundee, w/c  14 November:  Mon 14 Gondoliers;  Tue 15 Mikado;  Wed 16 HMS Pinafore & Trial By Jury;  Thu 17 Patience;  Fri 18 Mikado;  Sat 19 m Gondoliers;  Sat 19 e Yeomen of the Guard.

Further Scottish dates to be confirmed.


Dundee Press Preview

Dundee Courier & Argus: Friday, November 11 1904

Her Majesty’s Theatre - The D’Oyly Carte Opera Company

'“The flowers that bloom in the spring” are no more welcome than are the annual visits of the D’Oyly Carte repertoire company.  This year the visit which begins on Monday happens a little later than usual, and dull November will be indeed brightened by the melody and merriment of Gilbert and Sullivan.

'The week’s programme includes The Gondoliers Monday evening and Saturday afternoon; The Mikado Tuesday and Friday evenings; HMS Pinafore and Trial by Jury, on Wednesday; Patience on Thursday; and The Yeomen of the Guard, on Saturday evening.  It is a good many years since HMS Pinafore was last played here, and the combined attractions of it and of Trial by Jury should fill the house on Wednesday.

'There are several important changes in the company since it was last here.  Mr P W Halton, the veteran conductor, who for nearly twenty years has visited us, has gone, and Mr Tom Silver takes his place.  Although Mr Silver hasn’t been here before, he has had large experience of Gilbert and Sullivan opera, having been for long musical director of one of the other companies.  The former stage manager, Mr Richard Weatherby, has also left, and Mr Fred A Leon rules in his stead.  Mr Leon was here with the great company which produced The Yeomen of the Guard first in Dundee, and is a past master in stage craft.

'Many, however, of the principals are old favourites, including Miss Norah Maguire, Miss Jessie Rose, Miss Theresa Rassam, Mr Fred Billington, Mr Albert Kavanagh, and Mr C H Workman.  Miss Bessie Mackenzie, an Aberdeen young lady, will appear as Casilda in The Gondoliers, and in kindred parts, and there is a new leading tenor in Mr Pacie Ripple, of whom report speaks highly.

'Many changes are said to have taken place in the ranks of the chorus, resulting in freshness and brightness of tone, and altogether we both look forward with more than usual interest to next week’s performances.'


A Dundee Press Review

Dundee Courier & Argus: Tuesday, November 15 1904

Her Majesty’s Theatre - The D’Oyly Carte Opera Company - The Gondoliers

'The visit of the D’Oyly Carte Repertoire Company is one of the annual theatrical treats in Dundee, and the fact that Her Majesty’s was last night not quite so full as usual was, we are sure, due not to any falling off of interest in Gilbert and Sullivan, but to the presence in the city for one night only of a conspicuous artistic attraction.

'Since the D’Oyly Carte Repertoire Company was here last year it has got a new stage manager in Mr Fred Leon, and a new musical director in Mr Tom Silver.  From this infusion of new blood much was expected, and, while we admit that much improvement has been attained, we are glad to say that the changes are not of so revolutionary a kind as we had been led to expect.  The “business” is smarter and more alert, rather than new and strange, and we are glad of it, for we look upon the Gilbert and Sullivan operas as classics, with which it is dangerous, if not fatal, to tamper.  Perhaps the most decided improvement is in the direction of the chorus-singing, There are many fresh voices, and we do not think the singing was ever better.  The tone was excellent, both in quantity and quality, and the balance was unusually good, and there was a crispness and a variety of light and shade in all the concerted music which were truly delightful.  The whole performance, it must, with all respect for those who have gone, be admitted, has been freshened and brightened up.

'Although most of the principals in The Gondoliers last night have been heard here in the same opera, there has been a considerable rearrangement of parts.  Miss Rassam, Mr Billington, and Mr Workman are, of course, as before - the Duchess, the Grand Inquisitor, and the Duke, respectively - but Miss Norah Maguire, formerly the dainty Casilda, is now the more dashing Gianetta.  Miss Jessie Rose, who used to be Gianetta, last night played the pretty soubrette part of Tessa, and Mr Albert Kavanagh, formerly Luiz, is promoted to Giuseppe.  The newcomers are Miss Bessie Mackenzie, as Casilda, and Mr Pacie Ripple, as Marco.

'Miss Maguire made, of course, a delightful Gianetta.  She is always charming and vivacious, and she sings with wonderful brilliance.  We thought her slightly suffering from cold, but her phrasing in that beautiful song, “Kind Sir,” was full of artistic sympathy.  Miss Jessie Rose, as Tessa, displayed an unexpected fund of pretty, dainty humour.  She sang “When a merry maiden marries” so nicely that she deserved an encore, and her farewell verse to Gianetta near the end of the first act was not only sweetly sung, but was brightened up with some exceedingly neat and effective acting.  Throughout Miss Rose played with an amount of apparently spontaneous and natural humour that seemed to infect the company, as well as the audience.  Miss Rassam was as stately and dignified as ever as the Duchess, and sang with splendid effect, and Miss Bessie Mackenzie displayed a pretty voice, scoring especially in the two fine duets with Luiz.

'Mr Billington is as funny, if not funnier than ever, as the Grand Inquisitor.  It is one of the best of his roles, all of which are of course fine.  There is a pawky joviality in the way he pokes fun at the two couples whom he is temporarily to divorce, and a grimness when he speaks of the “persuasive influence of the torture chamber” that never fails to carry his points home.  Both his important songs were encored.  Mr Ripple has a nice voice of a robust quality.  He sang capitally in the duets with Giuseppe, and he earned a well deserved encore for “Take a pair of sparkling eyes.”  Mr Kavanagh played the part of Giuseppe with all necessary dash and spirit, and backed up Miss Rose in much of her comic business.  He was specially comical in the scene in the second act with the Duke, Duchess, and Casilda, and his splendidly resonant voice was always used to great advantage.  Mr C H Workman’s Duke is more finished and perfect than ever.  He seems to live in the part.  Every action is appropriate and telling, and he sings as few comedians can.   Mr Strafford Moss made an admirable Luiz, singing very finely in the duets with Casilda, and F Drawater as Antonio extracted the first encore of the evening, and a very hearty one it was.

'Encores were very plentiful.  The quintette in the first act and the quartette in the second act were specially well sung, and the “Cachuca” chorus went with irresistible dash and fire, and was loudly redemanded.

'The orchestra augmented to over twenty, under Mr Silver’s quiet, yet forceful, direction, played the overture and accompaniments.  We have heard a more finished performance of the overture, but the accompaniments were as a rule admirable, and will improve as the week goes on and the band gets to know its conductor and the conductor his band better.  The “picture” at the fall of the first curtain was particularly fine.

'To-night the ever popular Mikado will be given, with Miss Norah Maguire as Yum-Yum, Miss Rose as Pitti-Sing, Miss Rassam as Katisha, Mr Workman as Ko-Ko, Mr Ripple as Nanki-Poo, Mr Kavanagh (for the first time here) as the Mikado, and Mr Billington as Pooh-Bah.'


Note: The first paragraph of the review of The Gondoliers refers to “the presence in the city for one night only of a conspicuous artistic attraction”, reducing the company’s audience.  This is a reference to George Grossmith, who gave a performance of his one man show in the Kinnaird Hall on Monday evening.

Performance Cast

Tessa a Contadina

Jessie Rose (Nov 14)

Gianetta a Contadina

Norah Maguire (Nov 14)

Marco Palmieri a Venetian Gondolier

Pacie Ripple (Nov 14)

Giuseppe Palmieri a Venetian Gondolier

Albert Kavanagh (Nov 14)

Antonio a Venetian Gondolier

Fred Drawater (Dec 14)

Duke of Plaza-Toro a Grandee of Spain

Charles Workman (Nov 14)

Duchess of Plaza-Toro

Theresa Rassam (Nov 14)

Casilda daughter of the Duke and Duchess

Bessie Mackenzie (Nov 14)

Luiz the Duke's Attendant

Strafford Moss (Nov 14)

Don Alhambra del Bolero the Grand Inquisitor

Fred Billington (Nov 14)

Production Cast


Tom Silver (Nov 14)

Stage Manager

Fred A Leon

Performance DatesGondoliers 1904

Map List

Her Majesty's Theatre, Dundee | Dundee

14 Nov, 19.30 19 Nov, 14.00

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