Opera Scotland

Faust 1923Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Faust

The Royal Carl Rosa's 1923 Scottish tour, ten weeks in total, began with single weeks in Dundee and Greenock. Longer visits to Glasgow and Edinburgh were to follow. In the event, scheduling problems involving clashes with BNOC meant that the central belt visits were shortened by a week each, and Perth and Aberdeen included instead. The number of different operas produced on the tour is astonishing, 22 in all, often only receiving one or two performances each. The most popular works received six or seven, so it is perhaps surprising that Faust was given only four times.

The Dundee week, commencing 5 February, included: Mon Aïda, Tue Maritana, Wed Lohengrin, Thu Carmen, Fri Hoffmann, Sat mat Faust, Sat eve Bo Girl.

The Greenock week, commencing 12 February: Mon Aïda, Tue Mignon, Wed Masked Ball, Thu Samson and Delilah, Fri Cav & Pag, Sat mat Maritana, Sat eve Carmen.

Glasgow first week, commencing 19 February: Mon Trovatore, Tue Faust, Wed Butterfly, Thu Carmen, Fri Mignon, Sat mat Hoffmann, Sat eve Maritana.

Glasgow second week, commencing 26 February: Mon Cav & Pag, Tue Rigoletto, Wed Tannhäuser, Thu Samson and Delilah, Fri Figaro, Sat mat Trovatore, Sat eve Bo Girl.

Glasgow third week, commencing 5 March: Mon Aïda, Tue Hoffmann, Wed Masked Ball, Thu Daughter of the Regiment, Fri Mastersingers, Sat mat Faust, Sat eve Carmen.

Glasgow fourth week, commencing 12 March: Mon Samson and Delilah, Tue Butterfly, Wed Figaro, Thu Lohengrin, Fri Aïda, Sat mat Rigoletto, Sat eve Trovatore

Glasgow fifth week, commencing 19 March: Mon Mignon, Tue Cav & Pag, Wed Lily of Killarney, Thu Masked Ball, Fri Carmen, Sat mat Thaïs and Talmaae & Daughter of the Regiment, Sat eve Hoffmann.

Perth, week commencing 26 March: Mon Aïda, Tue Figaro, Wed Tannhäuser, Thu Hoffmann, Fri Masked Ball, Sat mat Faust, Sat eve Carmen.

Aberdeen, week commencing 2 April: Mon Aïda, Tue Mignon, Wed Trovatore, Thu Figaro, Fri Butterfly, Sat mat Hoffmann, Sat eve Daughter of the Regiment.

Edinburgh, week commencing 9 April: Mon Carmen, Tue Masked Ball, Wed Lily of Killarney, Thu Daughter of the Regiment, Fri Mignon, Sat mat Hoffmann, Sat eve Bo Girl. 

The Directors were still billed as Mrs Carl Rosa and Mr Alfred Van Noorden. Herbert Godfrey was Managing Director, H Chiswell Billing the Manager and Paul Kochs and Charles Webber the Conductors. Richard Cliffe is described as Stage Manager, with the Ballet trained by Madame Buckstone Clair. Principal Dancer is Winifred Madeline. Mr M Harwood is described as 'Costumier', which seems more likely to be a form of wardrobe supervisor rather than designer.

The abbreviated cast details for 10 February are as previewed in the Dundee newspapers, which did not mention the conductor, or shorter roles. The only complete cast we have is for the first Glasgow performance, of Tuesday, 20 February, which was reviewed in the next day's Glasgow HeraldThe Scotsman of Monday, 12 March gave brief details of the previous Saturday's performances, in the middle of the Glasgow run, which implies that a significant number of patrons were expected to travel between the two cities. Company information is from the cover of a Glasgow programme w/c 5 March (in the collection of the V & A, London). Saturday performances were not generally reviewed if the company had already moved on.

It is unfortunate that in May, just after the end of this Scottish leg, the company was declared bankrupt, though matters were restored in time for the next Scottish visit which started in Glasgow on 25 February 1924.

Performance Cast

Faust a learned doctor

Ben Williams (Feb 12m)

John Perry (Feb 20)

Horace Vincent (Mar 10m)

Méphistophélès the devil

Harry Brindle (Feb 10m, 20; Mar 10m)

Valentin Marguerite's brother

Booth Hitchen (Feb 20)

Wagner a student of Dr Faust

Martin Quinn (Feb 20)

Marguerite

Alma Lowe (Feb 10m, 20; Mar 10m)

Siébel a student of Dr Faust, in love with Marguerite

Olive Gilbert (Feb 20)

Marthe a neighbour

Winifred Burns (Feb 20)

Performance DatesFaust 1923

Map List

Kings Theatre, Dundee | Dundee

10 Feb, 14.30

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

20 Feb, 19.15 10 Mar, 14.00

Perth Theatre | Perth

31 Mar, 14.00

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