Opera Scotland

Faust 1924Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Faust

The Carl Rosa company was in the habit of coming to Scotland in February and running its tour through the early spring. In early 1924, from 28 January to 19 April they toured Aberdeen, Perth, Greenock, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

The huge continuing popularity of Gounod's masterwork is attested by the fact that it received two performances in Aberdeen, on the first Saturday matinee and the second Saturday evening. The first of these seems to have provided much pleasure, and the Press and Journal on Monday, 4 February was enthusiastic: 'Faust in the afternoon left little to be desired.

'Mr Bath kept the music alive and bright, and the chorus gave us some excellent singing. Miss Maude Neilson made a convincing Marguerite, one who looked the part and played it with a girlish simplicity. Her singing, too, was free of artifice, and sincere as well as artistic. Mr Macklin's Faust and Mr Hemingway's Mephistopheles were competent if undistinguished performances. Both sang their music well, but the acting of the one was stolid and of the other conventional. The best work was put in by Mr Appleton Moore in the part of Valentine.' - and yet he was also due to sing both Alfio and Tonio in the evening.

To arrive in Dundee on 22 December 1924 was unusual. To stay for a two week season even more so (indeed a unique event in the history of Carl Rosa performances in Dundee). In that era Christmas Day was not a holiday, and the company mounted a performance of Il Trovatore. On New Year's Day, Maritana was on offer. Unusual works being presented were La TraviataMarriage of Figaro and Fidelio. This fortnight in Dundee was not connected to visits to the other Scottish centres, as they left Dundee after Saturday, 3 January 1925, reappearing in Glasgow on 9 March.

Repertoire for the two Dundee weeks was as follows:

First Week: Mon Carmen, Tue Tannhäuser, Wed Tales of Hoffmann, Thu (Christmas Day) Trovatore, Fri Traviata, Sat Mat Faust, Sat Eve Bohemian Girl.

Second Week: Mon Aïda, Tue Butterfly, Wed Marriage of Figaro, Thu (New Year's Day) Maritana, Fri Fidelio, Sat Mat Samson & Delilah, Sat Eve Faust.

During a two-week run in Dundee over Christmas and New Year, Faust was the only work to be performed twice. It is likely that most of the performers sang on both occasions. The cast is complied from Dundee newspaper reviews of Monday, 29 December.

Performance Cast

Faust a learned doctor

Hughes Macklin (Feb 2m)

William Boland (Dec 27m)

Méphistophélès the devil

Mr E Hemingway Feb 2m)

John Kelly (Dec 27m)

Valentin Marguerite's brother

Appleton Moore (Feb 2m)

Flintoff Moore (Dec 27m)

Wagner a student of Dr Faust

Mr H Bodicombe (Dec 27m)

Marguerite

Maude Neilson (Feb 2m)

Eveline Birks (Dec 27m)

Siébel a student of Dr Faust, in love with Marguerite

Gladys Parr (Dec 27m)

Marthe a neighbour

Winifred Burns (Dec 27m)

Performance DatesFaust 1924

Map List

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

2 Feb, 14.15 9 Feb, 19.15

Perth Theatre | Perth

16 Feb, 19.15

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

5 Mar, 19.15 22 Mar, 19.15 4 Apr, 19.15

Royal Lyceum Theatre | Edinburgh

8 Apr, 19.15

King's Theatre, Dundee | Dundee

27 Dec, 14.30 3 Jan, 19.15

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