Opera Scotland

Mignon 1913Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Mignon

Mignon had been a popular fixture in the Carl Rosa repertoire for most of the company's existence.  For a few more years it would continue to attract audiences.

 

The Aberdeen View

Aberdeen Press & Journal: Monday, 27 January 1913  (p6)

Carl Rosa Opera - Tannhäuser and Mignon

'The visit of the Carl Rosa Opera Company to His Majesty's Theatre,  Aberdeen, terminated on Saturday with performances of Tannhäuser and Mignon in the afternoon and evening respectively.

'Special interest was attached to the former because of the appearance of Mr William Wegener in the title role, and it may be said that he gave a very convincing reading of the trying part.  Vocally, Mr Wegener was strong, and though his intonation was a trifle doubtful in the first act, he warmed up to his work considerably, and in the last scene with Wolfram was entirely satisfying, his acting being very impressive.

'Miss Ina Hill declaimed Elizabeth's music with great fervour, her rendering of the ''Prayer'' being particularly fine, while histrionically she compared favourably with former exponents of the part.  It was rather a mistake for Miss Winifred Geverding to attempt the part of Venus, and Mr Felix Fleischer was hardly an ideal Wolfram, his voice lacking colour and resonance.  The Landgrave was played by Mr Frederick Clendon, whose clear enunciation is always a pleasure to listen to, and the minor parts were in capable hands.

'The chorus did not display much enthusiasm, and were at times quite inaudible.  Under Mr Eugene Goossens the orchestra gave a fnished rendering of the overture, and though inclined to overpower,  played admirable accompaniments.

'The sparkling overture to Mignon was played in a very rhythmic fashion by the orchestra,  and was followed by a bright performance of the opera,  which is one of the most successful in the repertoire of the company.  The chorus seemed to have thrown off the lethargy of the afternoon, and sang with evident zest and enjoyment.

'Miss Ina Hill was heard to great advantage in the part of Mignon, singing and acting with consummate artistry.  Her mezza voce passages were beautiful and always in tune.  Miss Elizabeth Burgess appeared as Filina (owing to the indisposition of Miss Beatrice Miranda), and sang the difficult ''I am Titania'' to the evident liking of the audience.

'Mr Gordon Thomas was quite satisfactory as Wilhelm, and Mr Arthur Winckworth was as finished as ever as Lothario.  Miss Janet Hemsley (Frederick),  Mr Frederick Clendon (Laertes), and Mr Leslie Austin (Giarno and Antonio) were all successful and never out of the picture.  The opera was handsomely staged, and Mr Walter van Noorden conducted with his wonted skill.

'The audiences at both performances were very meagre, and though sympathising with those responsible,  we feel that the raising of prices was a mistake, and that had the oedinary prices been adhered to, financial success would undoubtedly have been assured,'

 

A Dundee Critic

Dundee Advertiser: Thursday, 30 January 1913

Carl Rosa Opera - Thomas's Mignon

The audience was not so large last night as it was at The Magic Flute on Tuesday; but, considering the counter-attraction of the orchestral concert, it was not unsatisfactory.  This encourages the hope that the merits of the singers and players are to receive the desirable acknowledgement of well-filled houses at the few performances that now remain.  If the Mignon of Ambroise Thomas does not possess as moving a story or an emotional intensity as deep as that of Gounod's Faust it is at least adorned with a wealth of melody hardly less charming.  The “Gavotte” from Mignon has figured in innumerable concert programmes, as have Filina's brilliant song “I am Titania,” and Mignon's plaintive “Know'st thou the land.”  In fact, Mignon bids fair to have a popularity hardly less wide than that of Gounod's master-work.

'Last night's cast differed but slightly from the cast of last year.  As before, Ina Hill played the title-role, and Beatrice Miranda was the Filina, while the parts of Lothario and Laertes were taken respectively by Arthur Winckworth and Frederick Clendon.  No additional comment is necessary on the good work of those admirable artists.  The newcomers were the tenor, Gordon Thomas, as Wilhelm, and Janet Hemsley as Frederick; and both earned well-merited applause. Mr Thomas possesses a light and pleasing tenor voice and sings with expression; while Miss Hemsley's rendering of the popular “Gavotte” was piquancy itself.  The representation as a whole was entirely competent and enjoyable.

'It is greatly to be hoped that Dundee, or the musical part of it, is not losing sight of the production of Boito's Mefistofele on Friday evening.  The Carl Rosa Company has been at much expense in mounting this opera which affords great scope for scenic effects.  Boito, in addition to the main story of Goethe's Faust, as treated by Gounod, has dealt with the Witches' Sabbath and also with the Helen of Troy incident.  The music is said to possess great charm, and full justice will no doubt be done to it by such fine artists as Ina Hill, Arthur Winckworth, and William Wegener.'

 

And Two in Edinburgh

Scotsman:  Wednesday, 5 February 1913  (p8)

Mignon at the King's Theatre

'For many years Mignon has occupied a place in the repertory of the Carl Rosa Company, and last night when the opera was performed at the King's Theatre it had a warm welcome from a large audience.  About two years ago, it may be recalled, the opera was successfully revived by the same Company in Edinburgh, and of the principals who then took part, Miss Beatrice Miranda and Mr Arthur Winckworth still remain.

'That it has enjoyed a large measure of success is not surprising.  The dramatic elements in the story are undoubted features;  two or three of the vocal numbers have had the seal placed on their popularity on the concert platform;  and the melodious and graceful music possesses an almost irresistible charm.  Both from a dramatic and musical point of view last night's performance was satisfactory.  There was no mistaking the interest with which the romantic theme was followed, in which the mingling of the gipsies and the irresponsible strolling players serves as an admirable foil to the tragic wanderings of the half-demented Lothario in search of his long-lost daughter.

'As Mignon, miss Ina Hill made a successful appearance.  Her voice is of good range and pleasing quality, and was perhaps heard to most advantage in the beautiful number ''Know'st thou that Dear Land,'' which was particularly well received.  The varying moods of the wayward girl, separated from her parents when a child,  and brought up among a band of roving gipsies,  were interpreted with excellent dramatic effect.  Miss Beatrice Miranda sang the celebrated polonaise ''I am Titania,'' with fine effect, and otherwise filled the part of the coquette Filina with the requisite lihtness of manner.

'The well-known gavotte was sung in fine style by Miss Janet Hemsley, who took the part of Frederick.  The male parts were all incapable hands.  Mr Arthur Winckworth's resonant voice was well displayed in the music which fell to his lot as Lothario, and Mr Gordon Thomas invested the part of the dashing Wilhelm with appropriate spirit.  A finished study was presented by Mr Frederick Clendon in the rôle of Laertes.  The orchestration, directed by Mr Walter Van Noorden, left nothing to be desired.'

 

Scotsman:  Monday, 17 February 1913  (p6)

Carl Rosa Opera Company

'At the King's Theatre on Saturday afternoon and evening the Carl Rosa Opera Company continued its successes in the presentation of Mignon and The Lily of Killarney.  In Ambroise Thomas's romanti opera, which drew forth a good attendance at the matinee,  Moss Beatrice Miranda,  Miss Ina Hill,  Mr Gordon Thomas, and Mr Arthur Winckworth filled the chief parts of Mignon,  Filina,  Wilhelm, and Lotario.

'There was a large attendance at the eveninig performance in the popular parts of the theatre, showing how strongly the power of pure melody prevails with the public even in these days.  Based upon the simple drama of Dion Boucicault's The Colleen Bawn,  Sir Julius Benedict's Lily of Killarney goes back as far as 1862, when it received its first performance at Covent Garden Theatre.  It has always been a favourite opera, first because of its popular choruses,  concerted pieces, and melodies for the principals;  and secondly, because of the inherent interest of the drama, the tender domestic sentiments touched in the love affair of Eily o'Connor and Hardress Cregan, and the specially Irish characters of Danny Mann and Myles na Coppaleen.

Mr Gordon Thomas as Hardress Cregan had a somewhat difficult rôle to fill as the lover of Eily, who would sacrifice passion to pelf, though in the end he chooses the right course.  He sang the part well though without marked distinction.  Miss Elizabeth Burgess played the Colleen Bawn with excellent spirit and vocal efficiency, and the Mrs Cregan of Miss Phyllis Archibald, the Danny Mann of Mr Hebden Foster, the Father Tom of Mr Frederick Clerndon, the Corrigan of Mr Leslie Austin, the Anne Chute of Miss Lawson-Taylor, and the Sheila of Miss Jean Douglas-Wilson were all well-proportioned characters in a performance of substantial excellence.

'But, on the whole, the honours fell to Mr Hedmondt, who as Myles had one of those distinctive parts which he knows how to make alive, with sometimes a touch of humour that that is grateful in a sort of drama that is essentially theatrical.  All the favoured numbers, ''The Cruiskeen Lawn,'' ''The Colleen Bawn,'' ''The Moon has Raised her Lamp Above,'' ''I'm Alone,''  and the Lullaby in the last act met with the usual applause, and encores were frequent.  The piece was admirably staged, and Mr Goossens secured from the orchestra an excellent rendering of the comparatively clear and simple music.

'For the coming week chief interest centres in the production for the first time by the company of The Jewels of the Madonna, a work of the intensely modern school, which is understood to be under constant rehearsal in order that it may be produced in Edinburgh for the first time out of London.

 

Carl Rosa Scottish Tour - 1913

This late winter Scottish season conisisted of seven weeks, each with seven performances.  After a week in Aberdeen (w/c 20 Jan) then one in Dundee (w/c 27 Jan), there followed three in Edinburgh’s King’s Theatre (commencing 3 Feb, 10 Feb, 17 Feb) and two in Glasgow’s Theatre Royal (w/c 24 Feb; 3 Mar).  Two performances originally scheduled of Jewels of the Madonna in Edinburgh were cancelled to allow for more rehearsals.  The operas that replaced them were Mefistofele (20 Feb) and Magic Flute (22 Feb mat)

The sixteen operas performed were by:  Mozart (Don GiovanniZauberflöte);  Benedict (Lily of Killarney);  Balfe (Bohemian Girl);  Thomas (Mignon);  Wallace (Maritana);  Wagner (TannhäuserLohengrin);  Verdi (Trovatore);  Gounod (Faust);  Goldmark (Queen of Sheba);  Boito (Mefistofele);  Bizet (Carmen);  Leoncavallo (Pagliacci);  Mascagni (Cavalleria Rusticana);  Wolf-Ferrari (Jewels of the Madonna).

The performance schedule was:

Aberdeen, w/c 20 January:  Mon 20 Carmen;  Tue 21 Lohengrin;  Wed 22 Trovatore;  Thu  23 Mefistofele;  Fri 24 Magic Flute;  Sat 25 m Tannhäuser;  Sat 25 e Mignon.

Dundee, w/c  27 January:  Mon 27 Tannhäuser;  Tue 28 Magic Flute;  Wed 29 Mignon;  Thu 30 Trovatore;  Fri 31 Mefistofele;  Sat 1 Feb m Carmen;  Sat 1 Feb e Bohemian Girl.

Edinburgh, w/c 3 February:  Mon 3 Tannhäuser;  Tue 4 Mignon;  Wed 5 Magic Flute;  Thu 6 Trovatore;  Fri 7 Lohengrin;  Sat 8 m Faust;  Sat 8 e Bohemian Girl.

Edinburgh, w/c 10 February:  Mon 10 Magic Flute;  Tue 11 Queen of Sheba;  Wed 12 Carmen;  Thu 13 Maritana;  Fri 14 Magic Flute;  Sat 15 m Mignon;  Sat 15 e Lily of Killarney.

Edinburgh, w/c 17 February:  Mon 17 Cav & Pag;  Tue 18 Don Giovanni;  Wed 19 Faust;  Thu 20 Mefistofele;  Fri 21 Tannhäuser;  Sat 22 m Magic Flute;  Sat 22 e Trovatore.

Glasgow, w/c 24 February:  Mon  24 Magic Flute;  Tue 25 Mignon;  Wed 26 Trovatore;  Thu 27 Cav & Pag;  Fri 28 Jewels of the Madonna;  Sat 1 Mar m Tannhäuser;  Sat 1 Mar e Faust.

Glasgow, w/c  3 March:  Mon 3 Lohengrin;  Tue 4 Jewels of the Madonna;  Wed 5 Magic Flute;  Thu 6 Mignon;  Fri  7 Carmen :  Sat 8 m Jewels of the Madonna;  Sat 8 e Magic Flute.

Performance Cast

Mignon stolen in childhood

Ina Hill (Jan 25 e, 29; Feb 4, 15 m)

Philine an actress

Elizabeth Burgess Jan 25 e)

Beatrice Miranda (Jan 29; Feb 4, 15 m)

Frédéric a young nobleman

Janet Hemsley (Jan 25 e, 29; Feb 4)

Wilhelm Meister a student

Gordon Thomas (Jan 25 e, 29; Feb 4, 15 m)

Laërte an actor

Frederick Clendon (Jan 25 e, 29; Feb 4)

Lothario a wandering minstrel

Arthur Winckworth (Jan 25 e, 29; Feb 4, 15 m)

Jarno a gypsy

Leslie Austin (Jan 25 e)

Antonio a servant

Leslie Austin (Jan 25 e)

Performance DatesMignon 1913

Map List

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

25 Jan, 19.30

Her Majesty's Theatre, Dundee | Dundee

29 Jan, 19.15

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

4 Feb, 19.30 15 Feb, 14.00

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

25 Feb, 19.15 6 Mar, 19.15

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