Opera Scotland

Zauberflöte 1914Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Magic Flute

The reviwer in the Scotsman (28 February) says "The irrelevancies of the plot (which was concocted by a stage manager for public consumption when Mozart was practically on his death-bed) are all overcome by virtue of good music. The broad lines of Shikanader's libretto and setting of spectcular scenes are so obviously artificial that they may be taken just for what they are worth. They have no literary value; they supply the material and scenario for music. In the dressing and staging the work was well presented and the Egyptian scenery was striking. In the vocal presentation first honours fell undoubtedly to the Papageno of Mr Frederick Clandon. He played up to the grotesque humour of the part; he sang with great effect, and whether he was singing or speaking he gave the audience all the words. It was, indeed, a finely studied buffo part, conceived in a style which is, unfortunately for operatic art, going out."

As Papagena, Miss Dorothy Lawson-Taylor may be associated with the success which the great duet in the final act obviously, by the test of the applause of all present in the theatre, achieved. The Tamino of Mr Edward Davies, if sometimes wanting in the dignity of stage presence, was equally fine, and he has merit of giving his audience all the words. Other notable parts in a long list were the Queen of the Night of Miss Beatrice Miranda, who one great applause in her prominent solos, both in the first and second acts; the Sarastro of Mr Arthur Winckworth, whose rendering of "Within the Hallowed Dwelling" brought so much applause that he had to return to the stage three times...Mr Van Noorden, who conducted, kept the orchestra well in hand, and although complaint may once again be entered against the unnecessarily long intervals, the audience was never permitted to become wearied while the work was in progress."

One highlight of this 1914 visit to Edinburgh by the Royal Carl Rosa was a further local airing of The Jewels of the Madonna by Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari, introduced last year, and now given at the Saturday matinee. Aïda had not featured for several seasons, and the Carl Rosa had not brought it north for over twenty years. The Magic Flute and Tales of Hoffmann were also becoming popular favourites. Cast details for this Magic Flute on Thursday, and Tales of Hoffmann on the Friday, are taken from our copy of the programme - see images below.

Certain aspects of the translation are worth mentioning. The second Priest does not appear as a separate identifiable role - presumably the Speaker covered that part as well. The three guides usually described nowadays simply as 'Boys' are here 'Genii', with the top two voices apparently swapping roles since 1913. An interesting feature is the naming of the Three Ladies in attendance on the Queen of Night. They become Aretusa, Egle and Iperetusa, perhaps relics of the old Italian translation often used during the nineteenth century. However the Queen herself is no longer called Astrafiammante - the star-blazing queen.

This Scottish visit by the Carl Rosa early in 1914 was an unusually brief one, with just two weeks in Edinburgh followed by two more in Glasgow.

The schedule was as follows:

Edinburgh, w/c 16 Feb: Mon Hoffmann; Tue Carmen; Wed Lohengrin; Thu Mignon; Fri Jewels of the Madonna; Sat m Hoffmann; Sat e Faust.

Edinburgh, w/c 23 Feb: Mon Hoffmann; Tue Figaro; Wed Tannhäuser; Thu Magic Flute; Fri Hoffmann; Sat m Jewels of the Madonna; Sat e Trovatore.

Glasgow, w/c 2 Mar: Mon Hoffmann; Tue Mignon; Wed Tannhäuser; Thu Jewels of the Madonna; Fri Magic Flute; Sat m Hoffmann; Sat e Trovatore.

Glasgow, w/c 9 Mar: Mon Carmen; Tue Figaro; Wed Hoffmann; Thu Maritana; Fri Aïda; Sat m Faust; Sat e Hoffmann.

Performance Cast

Tamino a Prince

Edward Davies

First Lady in attendance on the Queen

Annie Mackenzie

Second Lady in attendance on the Queen

Phyllis Davies

Third Lady in attendance on the Queen

Jean Douglas-Wilson

Papageno a bird-catcher

Frederick Clendon

Queen of Night

Beatrice Miranda

Monostatos a servant in the Temple

Reginald Gordon

Pamina daughter of the Queen of Night

Pauline Donnan

First Boy

Gladys Deane

Second Boy

Winifred Geverding

Third Boy

Mona Ryley

Speaker at the Temple

Mostyn Bell

Sarastro High Priest of Isis and Osiris

Arthur Winckworth

First Priest

Archibald Hill

Papagena disguised as an old woman

Dorothy Lawson-Taylor

First Armed Man

Archibald Hill

Second Armed Man

Thomas O'Kelly

Performance DatesZauberflöte 1914

Map List

Royal Lyceum Theatre | Edinburgh

26 Feb, 19.30

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

6 Mar, 19.15

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