Opera Scotland

Samson and Delilah 1911Moody-Manners Opera Company

Read more about the opera Samson et Dalila

The fact that both Aberdeen and Dundee saw Samson and Delilah on the Friday evening may indicate that management were expecting this relatively unfamiliar work, on only its second visit, to need a bit more rehearsal for the resident theatre band members. The cast is at a rather lower voltage than last time, without Zélie de Lussan and Joseph O'Mara.  The Glasgow performance was also on a Friday, though the playing is still described as being a bit rough.

Cast details are from a programme in Aberdeen City Library. The five principals are as advertised in Dundee - the performance was not reviewed by either the Advertiser or the Courier.


The Glasgow View

Glasgow Herald:  Friday, 24 March 2011  (p9)

Samson and Delilah

'While the Carl Rosa Company were producing The Queen of Sheba at the Grand Theatre, the Moody-Manners at the King's were engaged in another Biblical opera.  Saint Saëns's opera was of course produced by Mr Manners on his last visit, and it does not, therefore call for much further discussion here.  While the performance fell short of the standard attained on the previous occasion, it was nevertheless good enough in several respects to create a desire for further acquaintance with the music.  The frequently scrappy playing of the orchestra could hardly conceal the beauty of the score.

'The opera imposes a hard task upon its two central figures, but neither in the case of Samson nor in that of Delilah is it possible to err on the side of exaggeration in portraying their strength and their weakness.  Mr Albert Bowyer's Samson was marked perhaps by too much restraint, but on the whole it was a very creditable performance.  He was not overweighted by the music, and he sang throughout with plenty of confidence.

'Miss Bessie Weir appeared as Delilah at one of the performances here last year, and last night she showed again that vocally the part suits her well.  The rendering of the popular air ''Softly wakes my heart,'' was slightly marred by the roughness of the orchestral playing, but in all her music Miss Weir sang with great acceptance.  On the histrionic side also, the part was admirably sustained.

'Mr Graham Marr sang very effectively as the High Priest, and the smaller parts were well filled.  Mr Harrison Frewin, who conducted, obtained good work from the chorus,  but the orchestral playing was sadly lacking in finish.

'The opera was adequately staged, the destruction of the Temple of Dagon being an impressive spectacle.'

Performance Cast


Albert Bowyer (Mar 10, 17, 23)

Abimelech Satrap of Gaza

Graham Marr (Mar 10, 17)

First Philistine

Mr W Blande (Mar 10)

Second Philistine

Mr McCaffrey (Mar 10)

High Priest of Dagon

William Farmer (Mar 10, 17)

Messenger a Philistine

Mr Clegg (Mar 10)

Hebrew Elder

Harry Brindle (Mar 10, 17)

Dalila a Philistine priestess

Bessie Weir (Mar 10, 17, 23)

Performance DatesSamson and Delilah 1911

Map List

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

10 Mar, 19.30

Her Majesty's Theatre, Dundee | Dundee

17 Mar, 19.30

King's Theatre, Glasgow | Glasgow

23 Mar, 19.30

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