Opera Scotland

Aïda 1924Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Aïda

The tour

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 performers

The cast for Aïda is taken from the Aberdeen Press and Journal review on Thursday, 31 January. Eva Turner was in her final weeks with the company, before her momentous move to Milan. Her five other parts on this tour were Amelia, Cio-Cio-San, Santuzza, Elsa and Leonore in a rare revival of Fidelio.

Gladys Parr sang most of the company's leading dramatic mezzo roles, but was perhaps more comfortable with the character parts she took on later.

The conductor Hubert Bath only spent a short time with Carl Rosa, concentrating later on West End shows.

The Aberdeeen Press and Journal of Thursday, 31st January, gave an extended review that concentrated on the fine spectacle and good singing while not ignoring the shortcomings of characterisation. 'Its spectacular effects are gorgeous enough for the most inveterate lover of sensation, but once seen they cease to be an attraction in themselves, and we fall back upon the intrinsic merits of story and music.'

'The Temple Scene was impressive enough, and as a spectacle beautiful, but we can remember much finer singing on the part of the male chorus - on the occasion of the last Carl Rosa visit, to go no further. The triumphal entry of Radamès was better managed, and the finale was finely sung. The most massive parts of the choral work were always good: and the chorus are a capable body, with good tone and admirable balance.'

'Miss Turner's Aïda is one of her best parts. The richness of her voice fills out its melody superbly and seems the very thing that is essential to it. It rings out gorgeously in the ensembles, and is perfectly controlled and steady in tone even in the softest passages. Miss Turner, too, acts the part of Aïda finely and without affectation, giving it the touch of piteousness which its pathetic character needs.'

'Miss Parr was an excellent Amneris, a princess in bearing, whom even jealousy does not make spiteful. Her voice lacked something of power in the lower register, but its upper tones were full and telling, and she used them with sure dramatic effect.'

The Stage of Thursday, 21 February provides the complete cast for the Greenock performance on Monday, 18 February. The Scotsman of 10th April gives a further complete cast for the performance on 9th April in Edinburgh.

Return in December

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 Scottish public 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.

Cast details are compiled from reviews in the various Dundee newspapers for Tuesday, 30 December.

Performance Cast

Ramfis High Priest

E Gilding Clarke (Jan 30; Feb 18: Apr 9; )

John Kelly (Dec 29)

Radamès Captain of the Guard

Ben Williams (Jan 30)

William Boland (Feb 18; Apr 9; Dec 29)

Amneris daughter of the King of Egypt

Gladys Parr (Jan 30; Feb 18)

Doris Woodall (Apr 9)

Olive Gilbert (Dec 29)

Aïda an Ethiopian slave

Eva Turner (Jan 30; Feb 18; Apr 9)

Ethel Austen (Dec 29)

Messenger

Jack Wright (Feb 18; Apr 9)

Harold Furness (Dec 29)

King of Egypt

Frederick Clendon (Jan 30; Apr 9; Dec 29)

Priestess

Ethel Earl (Feb 18; Apr 9)

Diana Melrose (Dec 29)

Amonasro King of Ethiopia and father of Aïda

Booth Hitchen (Jan 30; Feb 18; Apr 9)

Flintoff Moore (Dec 29)

Dancer

Ailne Phillips (Apr 9)

Production Cast

Conductor

Hubert Bath (Jan 30; Feb 18)

André Skalski (Dec 29)

General Manager

Mr H B Phillips (Jan 30; Feb 18; Dec 29)

Translator

Henry Hersee

Performance DatesAïda 1924

Map List

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

30 Jan, 19.15 5 Feb, 19.15

King's Theatre, Greenock | Greenock

18 Feb, 19.15

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

3 Mar, 19.15 26 Mar, 19.15

Royal Lyceum Theatre | Edinburgh

9 Apr, 19.15

King's Theatre, Dundee | Dundee

29 Dec, 19.15

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