Opera Scotland

Madam Butterfly 1919Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Madama Butterfly

The Scotsman review (14 March) stated "last night's performance ... was perhaps first and principally a triumph for Miss Beatrice Miranda, for in following so closely upon her impersonation in 'La Tosca' on Tuesday night, it served to demonstrate with additional emphasis her faculty of identifying herself with any role which she assumes. There are many more or less good operatic singers in this country, but operatic artists capable of making a character a living reality, in the expression of which singing and acting are perfectly blended, are few, but Miss Miranda is one of their number. Miss Miranda's Madam Butterfly is well-known in Edinburgh, but last night the impersonation seemed to have advanced in finish and conviction, while vocally it has certainly gained in beauty of tone. As a whole, it was in every respect an exquisitely graceful presentation of the Japanese girl of the story.  Mr Hughes Macklin's full, round tone, ease of delivery and effective acting enabled him to make the most of the role, whoafter all, is very little more than the conventional tenor of opera.  Mr Kingsley Lark's Sharpless had many good qualities and the Suzuki of Miss Lena Maitland was one of the most artistic things in a production which was artistic throughout. Mr Robert Brookes, as the unctuous marriage broker, repeated a now familiar success, and praise is due to the Prince of Mr George Gorst, and the Kate Pinkerton of Miss May Crowley.  Mr De La Fuente conducted, and under his able direction the opera went with an admirable spirit and distinction."

The senior management of the Royal Carl Rosa Opera Company during the spring tour was headed by two 'Controlling Directors', Mrs Carl Rosa, widow of the founder and Walter van Noorden, who had conducted them in earlier years. The Artistic Director was the experienced bass Arthur Winckworth, still active on stage, and the General Business Manager was Henry Barrett Brandreth. Conducting duties were divided between Henriquez de la Fuente and Herbert Ferrers. By the time of the winter season, a new General Manager was in place, Mr H B Phillips.

The week commencing 27 January was the last week of opera to be seen in Dundee for several years.  Her Majesty's, a beautiful, atmospheric, popular - and profitable - theatre since 1885, was about to be purchased by a London-based cinema company. This event caused widespread outrage, but was a fait accompli, never to be reversed.

The cast for Aberdeen (Saturday 25 January matinee) is from a programme in Aberdeen City Library. The Dundee  performance was not reviewed in the Dundee Advertiser or Dundee Courier & Argus. Cast details, for the four main roles only, therefore are as in the Dundee Evening Telegraph & Post (in Dundee City Library). There is a programme for the performance on 13 March at the Lyceum, in Edinburgh Central Library.

The season consisted one week at Aberdeen’s His Majesty’s Theatre (AHMT), then one week at Dundee’s Her Majesty’s Theatre (DHMT). There followed four weeks at Glasgow’s Theatre Royal (GTR). Following a break of one week, there were two weeks at Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum (ERL), then later still another two in Glasgow (GTR). Ten weeks, followed by a further three in December to give thirteen. By now, the company were running a number of separate companies, the Phillips section giving the December performances.

w/c Mon Jan 20 Tales of Hoffmann Tue ToscaWed Tannhauser; Thu MignonFri Carmen; Sat m Madam ButterflySat e Faust. AHMT

w/c Mon Jan 27 Tales of Hoffmann; Tue Tannhauser; Wed Faust; Thu Madam Butterfly; Fri Mignon; Sat mTales of Hoffmann; Sat e Trovatore. DHMT 

w/c Mon 3 Feb Tannhauser; Tue BohèmeWed Madam Butterfly; Thu Trovatore; Fri Tosca; Sat m Mignon; Sat e Tales of Hoffmann. GTR 

w/c Mon 10 Feb Cav and Pag; Tue Faust; Wed Carmen; Thu Tales of Hoffmann; Fri Madam Butterfly; Sat m Tosca; Sat e Maritana. GTR

w/c Mon 17 Feb Bohème; Tue Tannhauser; Wed Mignon; Thu Cav and Pag; Fri Don GiovanniSat m Tales of Hoffmann; Sat e Trovatore. GTR

w/c Mon 24 Feb Carmen; Tue Rigoletto; Wed Carmen; Thu Faust; Fri Tannhauser; Sat m Madam Butterfly; Sat e Bohemian Girl. GTR

w/c Mon 3 Mar Company performing in Liverpool

w/c Mon 10 Mar Tales of Hoffmann; Tue Tosca  ; Wed Faust; Thu Madam Butterfly; Fri Don Giovanni; Sat m Cav and Pag; Sat e Maritana. ERL

w/c Mon 17 Mar Tosca; Tue Tales of Hoffmann; Wed Tannhauser; Thu Bohème; Fri Carmen; Sat m Mignon; Sat e Trovatore; ERL

w/c Mon 30 Jun Tales of Hoffmann; Tue Carmen; Wed Mignon; Thu Cav and Pag; Fri Three Masks; Sat m Madam Butterfly; Sat e Faust GTR

w/c Mon 7 Jul Three Masks; Tue Trovatore; Wed Daughter of the Regiment; Thu Carmen; Fri Marriage of Figaro; Sat m Tales of Hoffmann; Sat e Maritana GTR

w/c Mon 1 Dec Tales of Hoffmann; Tue Carmen; Wed Faust; Thu Cav and Pag; Fri Tannhauser; Sat m Romeo and Juliet; Sat e Rigoletto.

w/c Mon 8 Dec Cav and Pag; Tue Trovatore; Wed Romeo and Juliet; Thu Lily of Killarney; Fri Faust; Sat m Traviata; Sat e Tales of Hoffmann.

w/c Mon 15 Dec Carmen; Tue Tannhauser; Wed Maritana; Thu Rigoletto; Fri Romeo and Juliet; Sat m Cavand Pag; Sat e Tales of Hoffmann


Thirteen weeks @seven performances = ninety-one

Thirteen Tales of Hoffmann

Eight Carmen; Tannhauser; Faust

Seven; Madam Butterfly; Cav and Pag

Six Mignon

Five Trovatore; Tosca

Four Cav and Pag; Maritana

Three Bohème; Romeo and Juliet

Two Three Masks; Don Giovanni; Rigoletto

One Marriage of Figaro; Daughter of the Regiment; Bohemian Girl; Traviata; Lily of Killarney

Performance DatesMadam Butterfly 1919

Map List

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

25 Jan, 14.15

Her Majesty's Theatre, Dundee | Dundee

30 Jan, 19.15

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

5 Feb, 19.15 1 Mar, 14.00 5 Jul, 14.00 14 Feb, 19.15

Royal Lyceum Theatre | Edinburgh

13 Mar, 19.15

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