Opera Scotland

Faust 1922Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Faust

The Carl Rosa's Scottish tour at the beginning of 1922 was an unusually long one with 21 different operas on display. If the seven renderings of Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci are regarded as fourteen shows, that totals 105 performances (instead of 98) over the fourteen weeks from 16 January to 22 April embracing five venues. It began in the north-east, with one week in Perth, two in Aberdeen and one in Dundee. There followed an eight week stay in Glasgow, almost a northern headquarters for the company, and two final weeks in Edinburgh.

The most frequently performed operas in the season were Samson and Delilah (11), Carmen (9) and Madam Butterfly (9). Four works received only a single outing - The Valkyrie (in Aberdeen) and Lily of KillarneyBohème and Tosca in Glasgow.

The first week commencing Monday, 16 January, in Perth's delightfully intimate Edwardian auditorium, ran in this order: Mon Carmen; Tue Tales of Hoffmann, Wed Maritana, Thu Samson and Delilah, Fri Cav & Pag, Sat mat Madam Butterfly, Sat eve Trovatore.

In Aberdeen there were changes. Cav & Pag were dropped briefly, but the expanded repertoire saw the introduction of Bohemian GirlFaust and Mignon, plus larger-scale works by Verdi (Aïda) and Wagner - Tannhäuser, LohengrinValkyrie.

Dundee had not been visited since 1919 when Her Majesty's became a cinema, but the King's was now available, at least until 1928, when it, too, was acquired by a cinema company. The schedule for the week in Dundee was a fairly standard digest of the existing repertoire - Mon Faust, Tue Carmen, Wed Cav & Pag, Thu Samson and Delilah, Fri Tannhäuser, Sat Mat Madam Butterfly, and Sat Eve Trovatore.

With eight weeks to fill, it was inevitable that as well as nearly all of the above, a number of works would appear that were not seen elsewhere. These included Lily of Killarney, RigolettoMastersingersBohème and Tosca.

The opening Dundee week was the first occasion when the company used the King's Theatre, the much-loved and profitable Her Majesty's having been bought by a cinema company shortly after the last visit in 1919. History repeated itself in 1928, when the King's followed Her Majesty's into cinema ownership. In theatrical and operatic terms, Dundee probably suffered more than any other Scottish city as a result of the national obsession with cinema.

The week's schedule was fairly standard - Mon Faust, Tue Carmen, Wed Cav & Pag, Thu Samson and Delilah, Fri Tannhäuser, Sat Mat Madam Butterfly and Sat Eve Trovatore.

Cast details for the  performance on Monday 6 February are from the review in the Dundee Advertiser - it was not reviewed in the Dundee Courier & Argus  (in Dundee City Library).

Details for 13 April are from the following morning's Scotsman.

Performance Cast

Faust a learned doctor

Gwynne Davies (Feb 6; Apr13)

Méphistophélès the devil

Harry Brindle (Feb 6)

Frederick Clendon (Apr 13)

Valentin Marguerite's brother

Booth Hitchen (Feb 6)

Kingsley Lark (Apr 13)

Wagner a student of Dr Faust

Tom Rowland (Apr 13)

Marguerite

Gladys Cranston (Feb 6)

Eva Turner (Apr 13)

Siébel a student of Dr Faust, in love with Marguerite

Gladys Parr (Feb 6: Apr 13)

Marthe a neighbour

Gladys Parker (Apr 13)

Performance DatesFaust 1922

Map List

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

25 Jan, 19.15

King's Theatre, Dundee | Dundee

6 Feb, 19.15

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

14 Feb, 19.15 8 Mar, 19.15 25 Mar, 14.15 8 Apr, 19.15

Royal Lyceum Theatre | Edinburgh

13 Apr, 19.15

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