Opera Scotland

Traviata 1917O'Mara Grand Opera Company

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While war was raging, the bigger touring companies, such as Beecham's, limited Scottish visits to the central belt. It was left to the tenor Joseph O'Mara to take his company further north. This spring tour only called at Aberdeen and Dundee, both of which he knew from his years with Moody-Manners in the Edwardian era. The Dundee repertoire included the traditionally popular Faust and Lily of Killarney on the Saturday - familiar and easy-going pieces that the band could be expected to sight-read their way through. The week had started with Butterfly and Tannhäuser. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday saw a demanding repertoire of unfamiliar works - Traviata, Tristan and Tosca. The Puccini was only beginning to make its way in the provinces, lagging far behind Butterfly in popularity, and Tristan was a great rarity. Aberdeen saw four of these (the Puccini and Wagner items), but missed out on Faust, Lily and Traviata, seeing Don Giovanni, Trovatore and Bo Girl instead.

Traviata had been given several times in the Victorian era, but always in Italian. Now it was in English, and it does seem that it had lost the shock value so evident in earlier decades. Perhaps the horrors of the war had helped audiences concentrate on essentials.

Cast details are taken from the Dundee Advertiser and Dundee Courier & Argus, on Thursday 29 March.

Performance DatesTraviata 1917

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Her Majesty's Theatre, Dundee | Dundee

28 Mar, 19.15

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