Opera Scotland

Lustigen Weiber von Windsor 1907Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Merry Wives of Windsor

Nicolai's charming comedy has never really established itself in Britain, perhaps due to competition from Verdi's Falstaff.   This was recognized as the first revival for many years - in Scotland, at any rate, the first since 1894.

The complete cast for 22 February is taken from a programme in the collection of the NLS.  In addition a very brief review in the Scotsman of the Glasgow performance identifies six of the principals, and the review in the Scotsman (23 March), quoted below, show consistent casting.  

"By its genuinely entertaining qualities the Merry Wives of Windsor in Nicolai's setting, amply justifies its inclusion in the current week's repertory of the Carl Rosa Company.  Its name does not appeal like some of the more familiar operas with which it is associated on the bill.  It is, therefore, encouraging to find an audience of such dimensions and cordiality as occupied the King's Theatre last night. From beginning to end it went with verve.  The full-bodied humour of Shakespeare's creations and the sparkling music of the composer, as interpreted by the artistes, combined to secure this result.  From both a musical and a histrionic standpoint, the members of the company acquitted themselves with distinction.  The Mrs Ford of Miss Elzabeth Burgess merited nothing but praise.  The vivacious, mischievous, high-sprited matron was presented with remarkable fidelity and convincingness.  the brilliance of Miss Burgess's soprano voice, the facility and naturalness of her style, and her admirable vocalisation combined to secure a finished study of the part. Miss Doris Woodall, who has a voice of pleasing fullness and quality, made a successful Mrs Page; and Miss Ina Hill acted gracefully and sang attractively as Ann Page.  Mr Arthur Winckworth, as Falstaff, was, of course, the centre of interest.  He sustained the part in the proper spirit.  Shakespeare's great part was viatalised and visualised.  Mr Winckworth's full, rich voice accorded appropriately with the immensity of his make-up.  The other parts were capably sustained.  Mr Charles Victor's rendering of the jealous husband as Ford was an admirably convincing effort.  Mr Edward Davies sang and acted well as Fenton."

The review in the Greenock Telegraph (16 March) said of Miss Elizabeth Burgess, as Mrs Ford, "Her alternate and quick-changing moods of anger, pouting sulkiness, and and sarcastic, jeering laughter as the tormented husband vainly and ragingly sought here and there in vain for the lusty knight was a lesson in acting for playgoers to ponder. Needless to say the chorus-singing and orchestraion were a powerful and efficient help.  The piece was staged after old English fashion, and quaint old Windsor and the Garter Inn, and Herne's Oak once again to live and have their being.  The last-named scene, with the electric lights, and the fairies in the forest, was surprisingly beautiful."

In 1907, Carl Rosa Opera in Scotland spent two weeks at the Glasgow Grand, one at the Alexandra, Greenock and finally one at Edinburgh King’s Theatre (7.30; 2pm)

w/c 25 February Mon Marriage of Figaro; Tue Trovatore; Wed Merry Wives of Windsor; Thu Fidelio Fri Cav and Pag; Sat m Tannhauser; Sat e Rigoletto.

w/c 4 Mar Mon Don Giovanni; Tue Lohengrin; Wed Faust; Thu Carmen; Fri Fidelio; Sat m Merry Wives of Windsor; Sat m Trovatore.

w/c 11 Mar Mon Lohengrin; Tue Marriage of Figaro; Wed; Thu Fidelio; Fri Merry Wives of Windsor; Sat m Tannhauser; Sat e Faust.

w/c 18 Mar Mon Tannhauser; Tue Don Giovanni; Wed Carmen; Thu Faust; Fri Merry Wives of Windsor; Sat m Fidelio; Sat e Trovatore.


4 Merry Wives of Windsor; Fidelio.

Trovatore; Tannhauser; Faust; Carmen

Marriage of Figaro; Don Giovanni; Lohengrin.

Rigoletto; Cav and Pag.

12 operas, 28 performances QED.  

Performance Cast

Mrs Ford Frau Fluth, wife of Ford

Elizabeth Burgess

Mrs Page Frau Reich, wife of Page, Anne's mother

Doris Woodall

Anne Page Jungfer Anna Reich, daughter of Page

Ina Hill

Fenton a young gentleman

Edward Davies

Ford Herr Fluth, a Windsor merchant

Charles Victor

Page Herr Reich, a Windsor merchant

Frederick Clendon

Slender Junker Spärlich, an elderly gentleman

Charles Le Sueur

Dr Caius a French gentleman

John Ebbeler


Alec Richard

Sir John Falstaff a knight

Arthur Winckworth (Feb 27)

Host of the 'Garter Inn'

Albert Fenton

First Citizen

Arthur Hyde

Second Citizen

William Rousell

Third Citizen

Arthur Thomas

Fourth Citizen

Frank Inniss

Performance DatesLustigen Weiber von Windsor 1907

Map List

Grand Theatre, Glasgow | Glasgow

27 Feb, 19.30 9 Mar, 14.00

Alexandra Theatre | Greenock

15 Mar, 00.00

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

22 Mar, 19.30

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