Opera Scotland

Tannhäuser 1954Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Tannhäuser

The Carl Rosa's six-week 1954 Scottish tour began on 8th March with a three week stay in Glasgow, always one of its favourite dates. This was followed by a week in Aberdeen, from 29th March, and two in Edinburgh from 5th April. Operas performed during the tour were by Gounod (Faust); (Bizet (Carmen); Offenbach (Tales of Hoffmann); Wagner (Tannhäuser); Verdi (Trovatore, Traviata); Puccini (Bohème, Butterfly); Mascagni (Cavalleria Rusticana); Leoncavallo (Pagliacci).

This was the company's final appearance in Aberdeen, where the repertoire was Mon Hoffmann; Tue Carmen; Wed Cav & Pag; Thu Faust; Fri Tannhäuser; Sat mat Butterfly; Sat eve Trovatore.

The slightly different programme for the final Glasgow week was: Mon Cav & Pag; Tue Traviata; Wed Hoffmann; Thu Tannhäuser; Fri Faust; Sat mat Bohème; Sat eve Carmen.

The repertoire was much as before, as the company, with no public subsidy, needed to generate all its income from ticket sales and minimize risk. The only relative novelty was the Wagner. Once one of the most popular of operas, Tannhäuser had begun the decline in favour which has continued ever since. This was a new staging, and the first appearance of the work in Britain since 1939. However it undoubtedly stretched the reduced resources of the company, even if they were able to field a substitute when their lead tenor fell ill before opening night.

For a change, the Carl Rosa now used the 1862 Paris version of the work, beginning with the demanding Venusberg ballet sequence. In this there appeared as Margarita Rynn, Jean Butler and Diana Odling as the Three Graces, with Joan Weston as Principal Bacchante.

Cast details are from a copy of the 2 April programme in Aberdeen City Library, supplemented by data from reviews.

Performance Cast


Gita Denise

Sophia Katsarou (Apr 2)

Tannhäuser a knight and minnesinger

John Myrddin (Mar 25; Apr 2)

Frank Sale

Shepherd boy

Edna Graham

Wolfram von Eschenbach a knight and minnesinger

Redvers Llewellyn

Hermann Landgrave of Thuringia

Stanislav Pieczora

Walther von der Vogelweide a knight and minnesinger

Herbert Armitage

Heinrich der Schreiber a knight and minnesinger

Frederick Wood

Biterolf a knight and minnesinger

David Allen

Reinmar von Zweter a knight and minnesinger

Ernest Thomas

Elisabeth niece of the Landgrave

Ruth Packer

Performance DatesTannhäuser 1954

Map List

King's Theatre, Glasgow | Glasgow

25 Mar, 00.00

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

2 Apr, 19.00

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

9 Apr, 00.00

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