Opera Scotland

Trovatore 1911Moody-Manners Opera Company

Read more about the opera Trovatore

The scheduling ideas of opera companies are strange. Frequently weeks in Aberdeen and Dundee had the same repertoire played in the same order. Here, however, we have Verdi's stirring melodrama occupying the Saturday matinee slot in Aberdeen then Wednesday evening in Dundee. It may have had something to do with availability of singers - Helen Culver and Charles Carter, the Azucena and Manrico, were not singing other roles in the north, and may have had other commitments that allowed them to drop in for only a few days.

The cast is from a programme in Aberdeen Central Library, complemented by reference to reviews in the Dundee Advertiser and Dundee Courier.


A Dundee Review

Dundee Courier: Thursday, March 16, 1911

Her Majesty’s Theatre - Moody-Manners Opera Company - Il Trovatore

'Lovers of strong dramatic plot and rich glowing melody had a field-night at Her Majesty’s.   Il Trovatore is early Verdi, but its broad, tuneful numbers, its stirring choruses, and its powerful, though occasionally indistinct story, will always preserve for it a certain amount of popularity.   The musically uncritical will enjoy these features of the opera, while others will note with interest the difference between the Verdi who wrote Il Trovatore and La Traviata, and the Verdi who later gave to the world Aida and Otello.

'Last night's house was again disappointing.   Even the dress circle, which has done its duty well on the earlier nights of the week, was far from full, and the other parts were sparsely filled.   There is apparently a notion abroad that the company we have this week is the No. 2 Moody-Manners Company.  This is not so.   We have with us the only Moody-Manners Company - the one which visits the principal theatres in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and elsewhere.

'Last night's performance was one of all-round excellence, and introduced several new performers.   Miss Grace Nicoll, a new soprano, appeared as Leonora.   Her voice is a fine one, particularly in the middle register, her upper notes not being quite satisfactory.   She acts with considerable dramatic force, and the two great airs “Twas night and all around was still,” and the sparkling “To tell of love so glowing,” were both sung with brilliant effectiveness.  Another stranger appeared as Azucena, in Miss Helen Culver, who gave an intense performance of one of the most dramatic characters in the opera.  Miss Culver is a most capable actress, and the passionate scenes in which she takes part were grandly played.  Her famous song “Fierce flames were raging,” was sung with abundant expressiveness and force, and the familiar duet “Home to our mountains” in which she takes part, was warmly encored.

'Mr Charles Carter has appeared here before as Manrico.  His voice is powerful, but inclined to be hard; his top notes are, however, wonderfully strong and true.  His treatment of “Ah! yes thou'rt mine” was very fine, and he was still better in the fervid “Strike down that dread pyre.”  In the duets “Home to our mountains,” and especially in the “Miserere,” Mr Carter's singing was excellent.   Both duets were encored.   Mr William Farmer, a new Count de Luna, has a powerful and resonant voice of which he makes most vigorous use, and his fine presence is well in keeping with the part.  The famous “Tempest of the Heart” was given with all necessary passion and finish.   Mr R Cliffe, the Sulpice of the previous evening, made a dramatic Ferrando, singing his long opening scene with power and expressiveness.

'The chorus did good work.  The male voices were specially sweet and mellow in their chorus in the second act, and the “Anvil” Chorus was given with great spirit.  The band under Mr Frewin played vigorously, although the brasses were occasionally out of tune.'

Performance Cast

Ferrando captain of Di Luna's guard

Mr H Woollard (Mar 11 m)

Richard Cliffe (Mar 15)

Inez confidante of Leonora

Miss Skene (Mar 11m)

Maud Rigby (Mar 15)

Leonora a Duchess, lady-in-waiting to the Princess of Aragon

Grace Nicoll (Mar 11 m, 15)

Count di Luna a young noble of Aragon

Graham Marr (Mar 11 m)

William Farmer (Mar 15)

Manrico a chieftain under the Prince of Biscay

Charles Carter (Mar 11 m, 15)

Azucena a Biscayan gypsy woman

Helen Culver (Mar 11 m, 15)

Ruiz a soldier in Manrico's service

Mr W Blande (Mar 11 m, 15)

Performance DatesTrovatore 1911

Map List

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

11 Mar, 14.15

Her Majesty's Theatre, Dundee | Dundee

15 Mar, 19.30

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