Opera Scotland

Dante and Beatrice 1918Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Dante and Beatrice

Philpot's operatic treatment of the most important element in the early life of Dante must have seemed an attractive proposition at its launch in 1889. After all, the pre-Raphaelites were still popular, and, led by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, they adored the work of Dante. The Aesthetic movement still survived, despite the successful attack by Gilbert and Sullivan with Patience. And the composer was even younger than the poet had been when driven to distraction by his adoration of the lovely Beatrice.

The work's topicality must have seemed far less pronounced at its first (only) major revival in 1918. Though the Carl Rosa toured it widely for a couple of years, it didn't catch on. Coupling such a rarity with the nearly ontemporary, but far more popular, modern and dramatic Pagliacci can hardly have helped its cause.

The Scotsman (12 July) reviewed the previous night's performance at the Theatre-Royal, Glasgow, saying "It is a short production consisting of three scenes, or pictures, as they are called on the programme, delineating instances in the life story of the pair, and providing opportunity for lyrical expression.  Into the work the composer has put many passages of much tenderness and beauty, the orchestration being particularly happy in arrangement and melodic invention. Vocally it also possesses considerable attraction, and for the characters of Dante and Beatrice there are fine opportunities, which were splendidly utilised by Mr William Boland and Miss Beatrice Miranda.  The staging affords artistic harmonising of scenery and costume.  A representation of the well-known picture of Dante's meeting with beatrice was shown during the playing of the overture.  Last night's performance was admirable in every respect, and greatly pleased a large audience, who enthusiastically paid tribute to Dante and Beatrice and the composer, who personally conducted the opera."

The Scotsman reviewer (24 July) said of the music "It is not at all dramatic, but it is always gracious and effective, it has some particularly happy moments, and its treatment throughout is dignified.  A very artistic setting presented the opera under the most favourable conditions.  Mr William Boland as Dante made a striking figure, although a little more thought might have been devoted to obtainging a closer resemblance to the oroginal.  His singing, as on the previous evening in Carmen, was always true and sympathetic.  Miss Florence Collier, an artist of whom too little has been heard, secured a real triumph as Beatrice.  She looked the character too life, and her singing of very trying music was throughout delightful. At the close of the opera she was repeatedly recalled by the large audience, a little cold at first, but enthusiastic as it gradually came under the spell of a really poetic opera.  There is little for the other characters in the opera, but Messrs Frank Clarke, Frederick Clendon and George Gorst, aand the Misses Dorothy L. Taylor and Winifred Geverding, were all effective.  Following the new opera was a good performance of Pagliacci, with an excellent tenor Mr Cynlais Gibbs, as Canio, Miss Clara Simons as Nedda, Mr James Pursail as Tonio, Mr Frank Clarke as Silvio and Mr Lovat Crossley as Beppo."

The touring schedule for Scotland during the year 1918 was as follows:-

The season consisted two weeks at Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum, then four weeks at Glasgow’s Theatre Royal. Following a break of two months or so, the company returned to Glasgow for four weeks and finally a week back at the Royal Lyceum.

w/c Mon 18 Feb Tannhauser; Tue Carmen; Wed Madam Butterfly; Thu Faust; Fri Bohème; Sat m Tales of Hoffmann; Sat e Maritana.

w/c Mon 25 Feb Cav and Pag; Tue Bohème; Wed Merry Wives of Windsor; Thu Tales of Hoffmann; Fri Mignon; Sat m Madam Butterfly; Sat e Trovatore.

w/c Mon 4 Mar Carmen; Tue Tannhauser; Wed Bohème; Thu Faust; Fri Madam Butterfly; Sat m Tales of Hoffmann; Sat e Trovatore.

w/c Mon 11 Mar Cav and Pag; Tue Mignon; Wed Tales of Hoffmann; Thu Merry Wives of Windsor; Fri Bohème; Sat m Madam Butterfly; Sat e Maritana.

w/c Mon 18 Mar Tannhauser; Tue Bohème; Wed Trovatore; Thu Tales of Hoffmann; Fri Jeanie Deans; Sat m Carmen; Sat e Faust.

w/c Mon 25 Mar Madam Butterfly; Tue Carmen; Wed Jeanie Deans; Thu Cav and Pag; Fri Mignon; Sat m Tannhauser; Sat e Bohemian Girl.

w/c Mon 24 Jun Tannhauser; Tue Bohème; Wed Tales of Hoffmann; Thu Don Giovanni; Fri Carmen; Sat m Madam Butterfly; Sat e Trovatore.

w/c Mon 1 Jul Jeanie Deans; Tue Cav and Pag; Wed Mignon; Thu Madam Butterfly; Fri Marriage of Figaro; Sat m Tales of Hoffmann; Sat e Faust.

w/c Mon 8 Jul Merry Wives of Windsor; Tue Madam Butterfly; Wed Don Giovanni; Thu Dante and Beatrice and Pagliacci; Fri Tannhauser; Sat m Jeanie Deans; Sat e Carmen.

w/c Mon 15 Jul Mignon; Tue Faust; Wed Tannhauser; Thu Rigoletto; Fri Dante and Beatrice and Pagliacci; Sat m Bohème; Sat e Tales of Hoffmann.

w/c Mon 22 Jul Carmen; Tue Dante and Beatrice and Pagliacci; Wed Jeanie Deans; Thu Tales of Hoffmann; Fri Don Giovanni; Sat m Madam Butterfly; Sat e Maritana

Our archivist has been unable to find a programme or review of the single perforamance of Bohemian Girl given on the tour (Saturday 30 March)

Eleven weeks @ seven performances seventy-seven.

Nine Madam Butterfly; Tales of Hoffmann

Seven Carmen; Bohème; Tannhauser.

Five Jeanie Deans; Mignon; Faust

Four Cav and Pag; Trovatore

Three Maritana; Don Giovanni; Dante and Beatrice and Pagliacci; Merry Wives of Windsor

One Rigoletto; Bohemian Girl; Marriage of Figaro

Production Cast

Conductor

Arthur Delmotte

Stephen Philpot (11 Jul)

Performance DatesDante and Beatrice 1918

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

11 Jul, 19.15 19 Jul, 19.15 23 Jul, 19.15

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