Opera Scotland

Djamileh 1892Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Djamileh

This opening week of the Scottish tour was an eventful one for the company. The note that still occasionally appears in a programme that reserves to the company the right to change artists or programme without notice can rarely have been so necessary.

The schedule for w/c Monday 7 November was: Mon Djamileh & Cavalleria; Tue Daughter of the Regiment; Wed Aïda; Thu Faust; Fri Carmen; Sat mat Faust Act 2 & Cavalleria; Sat eve Amico Fritz. Djamileh and Amico Fritz were both Scottish premieres (with Otello to follow in Glasgow the next Tuesday). The only other point of interest was the continuing attempt to find companions for Cavalleria - the second act of Faust hardly seems suitable.

In the event, the company were summoned to Balmoral so that Queen Victoria and her house party could see the Donizetti on Tuesday. That opera was thus promised to Dundonians for a special Thursday matinee. However the journey back to Dundee via Aberdeen in a freezing train in the middle of the night was a ghastly experience. The company were in no state to give Aïda on Wednesday evening, so another Cav was substituted, along with Act 2 of Maritana. Zélie de Lussan, the Marie in Daughter, had been badly affected by the cold, and couldn't sing until the Friday Carmen, so Thursday's special matinee became a less special complete Maritana. Things then returned to schedule. De Lussan's health was a particular concern as she would be required to sing Desdemona a few nights later. However Dundee audiences and press were far from happy at all the chopping and changing, and the company's reputation undoubtedly suffered.

Djamileh was one of a succession of single-act works produced in the late nineteenth century as curtain raisers for the main event of the evening, on this occasion Cavalleria Rusticana. Few of them have survived to modern times, although they often contain a fair amount of high-quality music, and Bizet's work has some lovely moments of melody and orchestration. However once Leoncavallo's Pagliacci arrived to take its place in the double bill, many of the other short works disappeared, which seems unfair. No-one seems to have tried to assemble an evening of short French works, with the exception of Ravel's two masterly little works.

Performance Cast

Djamileh a slave

Pauline Joran

Haroun a prince

Barton McGuckin

Splendiano Haroun's servant

Rhys Thomas 2

Performance DatesDjamileh 1892

Map List

Her Majesty's Theatre, Dundee | Dundee

7 Nov, 19.15

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

19 Nov, 14.00 21 Nov, 19.15

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