Opera Scotland

Lustigen Weiber von Windsor 1912Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Merry Wives of Windsor

The Scotsman reviewer (23 February) said "If British poverty in the domain of grand opera is revealed by the repertory of the Carl Rosa Opera company, it is to some extent compensated for by the splendid subject provided in the Merry Wives of Windsor, Nicolai's popular musical presentation of the Shakesperian theme. The opera appears only once in the programme of the company during the present visit, and its erformance at the King's theatre last night served to display the talent and resource of its members in the highest degree.  The humour and phantasy of the sparkling comedy drama were well realised; and the staging and accessories were in keeping with the standard set."

"The Sir John Falstaff of Arthur Winckworth is one of his best conceptions; vocally and dramatically he was quite equal to its demands, and his performance was cordially approved by the audience.  Miss elizabeth burgess gave a merotorious rendering of the gay and scheming Mrs Ford. She sang exceedingly well throughout the evening, and her acting was spirited and entertaining. She was excellently supported by Miss Phyllis Archibald as Mrs Page.  Their opening duet was one of the points of the evening. The part of Ann Page was charmingly played by Miss Ina Hill; she  and Mr Gordon Thomas (as Fenton) made an admirable pair of lovers.  Both have fresh, tuneful voices, and their singing was most agreeable. In the role of Ford, Mr Felix Fleischer made an excellent impression, and Mr Frederick Clendon was equally commendable as Mr Page...Mr Walter van Noorden conducted, and under his baton the bright music was excellently rendered. Mention may be made of the fine setting of the Windsor Forest by moonlight, of the sound work of the chorus, and of the efficiency of the ballet."

This was a revival of the old staging last brought to the central belt, but no further, in 1905. Apart from Arthur Winckworth in the title role, only Frederick Clendon of the 1905 principals remained,  Merry Wives had received its Scottish premiere by the Carl Rosa in Aberdeen in 1894.

The schedule for the Aberdeen visit commencing 29 January was: Mon Mignon; Tue Tannhäuser; Wed Merry Wives of Windsor; Thu Faust; Fri Queen of Sheba; Sat mat Carmen; Sat eve Il trovatore. The company moved south to Dundee the following week, with the same operas, though played in a different order. The one exception was Merry Wives, which was replaced by Cav & Pag. Having brought it back now, it seems strange that they should not have taken it to Dundee as well, but Cav & Pag also needed to be kept fresh with the occasional performance, and would inevitably fill the theatre.

This cast is from a programme in the Aberdeen City Library.

Performance Cast

Mrs Ford Frau Fluth, wife of Ford

Beatrice Miranda

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

Claude Albright

Anne Page Jungfer Anna Reich, daughter of Page

Madoline Spicer

Fenton a young gentleman

Charles Neville

Ford Herr Fluth, a Windsor merchant

Felix Fleischer

Page Herr Reich, a Windsor merchant

Frederick Clendon

Slender Junker Spärlich, an elderly gentleman

William O'Connor

Dr Caius a French gentleman

Miller Reid


Tom Hamilton

Sir John Falstaff a knight

Arthur Winckworth

Host of the 'Garter Inn'

Albert Fenton

First Citizen

Beulah Coe

Second Citizen

Leslie Austin

Third Citizen

Robert Brookes

Performance DatesLustigen Weiber von Windsor 1912

Map List

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

31 Jan, 19.30

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

22 Feb, 19.30

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

7 Mar, 19.30

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