Opera Scotland

Mabel Dennis Suggest updates

Mezzo-soprano.

Mabel Dennis enjoyed a career that developed over several years either side of the First World War.  Our records so far show her with three companies - Moody-Manners (1907-10), Carl Rosa (1911) and O'Mara (1917-20).

Her early appearances with Moody-Manners show her beginning, probably in the chorus, in 1907 and '08,  and taking very short solo roles.

By 1910 the Moody-Manners management had promoted her to the point where she was taking featured and noticeable solo parts by Gounod (Siébel) and Bizet (Mercédès) while still retaining short solos including Puccini (Shepherd Boy).  With the demise of that set-up she transferred to Carl Rosa in 1911, with new roles including Benedict (Mrs Cregan).

Our records then show a gap - was she perhaps working for Quinlan or Beecham? - but from 1917 we see her developing serious principal parts under O'Mara's guidance - Mozart (Cherubino);  Balfe (Gipsy Queen);  Wallace (Lazarillo);  Wagner (Ortrud, Brangäne);  Verdi (Azucena);  Gounod (Siébel);  Saint-Saëns (Delilah); Puccini (Suzuki).

Clearly she had a slender figure and attractive stage manner, both required for her elegantly youthful 'trouser-roles' that included Cherubino, Lazarillo and Siébel.  However, a good deal of vocal power and dramatic presence was needed for Ortrud,  Azucena,  Delilah and similar parts. 

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