Opera Scotland

Bohemian Girl 1923Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Bohemian Girl

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 Bohemian Girl was given only three times. Of the other two constituents of the 'English Ring', Maritana also received three but Lily of Killarney only one.

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.

Abbreviated cast details for 10 February are as previewed in the Dundee newspapers. The cast for 14 April is as reviewed in The Scotsman of 16 April. 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, so it is quite unusual to have details provided in this way. It is noticeable that with only three outings on the tour several of the parts were at least double cast. This would have provided effective covers in the event of illness.

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.

The Bo Girl was the last work given by the company on this ten-week tour, and The Scotsman of 16 April was unusually appreciative - 'At night, The Bohemian Girl, with its succession of no doubt hackneyed but perenially attractive songs, was presented with an enjoyable absence of that suggestion of the perfunctory which too frequently accompanies a Saturday night performance of an opera in which nobody is supposed to regard anything as important but the songs.'

Performance Cast

Arline Arnheim's daughter

Jennie Bleasdale (Feb 10)

Alma Lowe (Apr 14)

Thaddeus a proscribed Pole

Horace Vincent (Feb 10; Apr 14)

Count Arnheim Governor of Pressburg

Booth Hitchen (Feb 10; Apr 14)

Queen of the Gypsies

Gladys Parr (Feb 10)

Olive Gilbert (Apr 14)

Devilshoof leader of the gypsies

Frederick Clendon (Feb 10)

Harry Brindle (Apr 14)

Florestein nephew of the Count

Parkyn Newton (Feb 10; Apr 14)

Buda Arline's nurse

Winifred Geverding (Apr 14)

Captain

Albert Broad (Apr 14)

Performance DatesBohemian Girl 1923

Map List

Kings Theatre, Dundee | Dundee

10 Feb, 19.15

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

3 Mar, 19.15

Royal Lyceum Theatre | Edinburgh

14 Apr, 19.15

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