Opera Scotland

Trovatore 1916Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Trovatore

The context

The reviewer in the Scotsman (25 February) opened "Bald and conventional as it is, the libretto of Trovatore has nevertheless a good dramatic foundation. Verdi was probably mainly concerned with it as an arrangement of pegs upon which to hang vigorous and effective melodies, but the opera maintains a vitality which is not wholly dependent upon its mere succession of pleasing tunes. The average person can enter into the mental processes of people like the Count di Luna, Manrico, Azucena or Leonora much more readily than into those of the majority of Wagner's personages, for instance.  Verdi's people love and hate for obvious and sufficient reasons, and the composer enforces the spirit of the situation with a dramatic instinct which is frequently perfunctory in its manifestations, but never fails of a certain rough effectiveness."

What was the performance like?

"Last night's performance of the opera by the Carl Rosa Company displayed a satisfactory regard for this too frequently neglected dramamtic aspect of the work. Throughout there was brisk movement, and while the famous solo and concerted numbers had all praiseworthy renderings, it was the excellent spirit of cohesion marking the performance which made it so enjoyable."

"Miss Elizabeth Burgess made a very good Leonora; Mr Edward Davies infused plenty of animation into his rendering of the character of Manrico; and the Count di Luna of Mr Hebden Foster, while marred by a tiresome vibrato, was effective.

Great praise is due to the Azucena of Miss Christine Oliver. Vocally and dramatically it was very artistic. Her make-up, too, a matter in regard to which operatic artists are apt to be rather careless, was particularly good.  Mr Frederick Clendon as Ferrando, Miss Dorothy Lawson Taylor as Inez, and Mr Reginald Gordon as Ruiz completed the cast. 

The chorus, save that, by one of those accidents which cannot always be avoided, it got rather woefully out of tune in the Prison Scene, did well, and the orchestra did well.  Mr Henrquez de la Fuenta conducted."

Sources

The complete cast for 9 March was drawn from a programme in the Mitchell Library, Glasgow.  The midweek items on this Carl Rosa schedule were Faust on the Wednesday and Trovatore on Thursday.

The soprano Eleanor Felix was a new recruit to Carl Rosa, and would visit Scotland again the following year in Il trovatore. However that was with the O'Mara company.

The 1916 Scottish Tour

The Scottish circuit that year consisted of two weeks at the Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh, followed by three at Glasgow’s Theatre Royal. Advertisements state the orchestra included fifty performers.

Edinburgh, w/c 21 Feb: Mon Tales of Hoffmann; Tue Aïda; Wed Tannhäuser; Thu Trovatore; Fri Cav & Pag; Sat m Faust; Sat e Bohemian Girl.

Edinburgh, w/c 28 Feb: Mon Carmen; Tue Tales of Hoffmann; Wed Mignon; Thu Magic Flute; Fri Faust*; Sat m Tales of Hoffmann; Sat e Maritana.

Glasgow, w/c 6 Mar: Mon Tales of Hoffmann; Tue Carmen; Wed Faust; Thu Trovatore; Fri Cav & Pag; Sat m Aïda; Sat e Maritana.

Glasgow, w/c 13 Mar: Mon Tannhäuser; Tue Tales of Hoffmann; Wed Aïda; Thu Magic Flute; Fri Faust; Sat m Tales of Hoffmann; Sat e Bohemian Girl.

Glasgow, w/c 20 Mar: Mon Carmen; Tue Mignon; Wed Cav & Pag; Thu Attack on the Mill; Fri Tales of Hoffmann; Sat m Faust; Sat e Trovatore.

The whole tour consisted of seven performances of Tales of Hoffmann; five of Faust; three of Aïda, Cav & Pag, Carmen, and Trovatore; two of Tannhäuser, Bohemian Girl, Mignon, Maritana, and Magic Flute; with only one of Attack on the Mill.

  • The advertised performance in Edinburgh on  Friday, 3 March of Attack on the Mill was replaced by one of Faust. The latter performance was seemingly not reviewed.

Performance Cast

Ferrando captain of Di Luna's guard

Frederick Clendon (Feb 24; Mar 9)

Inez confidante of Leonora

Dorothy Lawson-Taylor (Feb 24; Mar 9)

Leonora a Duchess, lady-in-waiting to the Princess of Aragon

Elizabeth Burgess (Feb 24)

Eleanor Felix (Mar 9)

Count di Luna a young noble of Aragon

Hebden Foster (Feb 24; Mar 9)

Manrico a chieftain under the Prince of Biscay

Edward Davies (Feb 24; Mar 9)

Azucena a Biscayan gypsy woman

Christine Oliver (Feb 24)

Muriel Terry (Mar 9)

Ruiz a soldier in Manrico's service

Reginald Gordon (Feb 24; Mar 9)

Performance DatesTrovatore 1916

Map List

Royal Lyceum Theatre | Edinburgh

24 Feb, 19.30

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

9 Mar, 19.15 25 Mar, 19.15

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