Opera Scotland

Kiss 1949Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Kiss

Cast details are from a programme for 15 April in Aberdeen City Library.

The Carl Rosa company introduced Smetana's late romance to Liverpool in 1938, but it had to wait until after the war to be seen in Scotland. Several of these singers played important roles with the company during its last decade of existence, which was just starting.

According to a review in the Aberdeen P&J (16 April), the opera 'suffers from the triviality of its story, or rather stories, for there are two...despite this very definite handicap, the music is enchanting, much of it in the lightest, gayest mood, and the combined efforts of orchestra, principals, and chorus succeeded in capturing the spirit of liveliness which the opera demands. Ruth Packer, after a shaky strt,developed into a captivating Vendulka... Lukas was played by John Myrddin, and if he has been seen in more satisfying roles, he nevertheless portrayed an exacting part adequately. The dresses are lavish; many of them are on loan from the National Theatre in Bratislava, and the staging was as colourful and magnificent as any seen in the whole of the Carl Rosa repertoire."

The Scotsman review (6 April) said "Last night's performance was by far the best the Carl Rosa have done so far in Edinburgh. Everybody was alive and interested, and whatever the musical failings, the cast seemed to enjoy themselves as they ought. The sets were attractive, but were quite outshone by some of the costumes, which were apparently loaned from the Bratislava National Theatre."

In 1949, Carl Rosa Opera toured Scotland for seven weeks, giving seven performances each week; two weeks in Edinburgh, one Aberdeen, four Glasgow.  Nine different operas were performed. The schedule embraced familiar works by Rossini (Barber); Verdi (Trovatore, Traviata); Puccini (Bohème, Tosca, Butterfly); Gounod (Faust) and Bizet (Carmen). There was one extremely enterprising novelty in the delightful form of The Kiss by Smetana, receiving its Scottish premiere.

w/c Mon 28 Mar Traviata; Tue Faust; Wed Bohème; Thu Carmen; Fri Barber; Sat m Butterfly; Sat e Faust

w/c Mon 4 Apr Butterfly; Tue Kiss; Wed Carmen; Thu Bohème; Fri Faust; Sat m Butterfly; Sat e Faust

w/c Mon 11 Apr Faust; Tue Bohème; Wed Barber; Thu Carmen; Fri Kiss; Sat m Butterfly; Sat e Trovatore.

w/c Mon 18 Apr Carmen; Tue Faust; wed Traviata; Thu Tosca; Fri Barber; Sat m Butterfly; Sat e Trovatore

W/c Mon 25 Apr Faust; Tue Butterfly; Wed Kiss; Thu Bohème; Fri Carmen; Sat m Barber; Sat e Butterfly

W/c Mon 2 May Bohème; Tue Carmen; Wed Tosca; Thu Faust; Fri Traviata; Sat m Carmen; Sat e Barber.

W/c Mon 9 May Butterfly; Tue Trovatore; Wed Faust; Thu Carmen; Fri Kiss; Sat m Bohème; Sat e Traviata.

Performance Cast

Paloucký an elderly peasant

Donald Campbell

Vendulka daughter of Paloucký

Ruth Packer

Lukáš a young widower

John Myrddin

Tomeš friend and brother-in-law of Lukáš

Arthur Copley

Martinka Vendulka's old aunt

Monica Sinclair

Matous an old smuggler

Bruce Clark

Barce a servant girl

Una Hale

Frontier Guard

Leslie Jones

Performance DatesKiss 1949

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

5 Apr, 19.30

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

15 Apr, 19.30

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

27 Apr, 19.15 13 May, 19.15

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