Opera Scotland

Rigoletto 1923Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Rigoletto

For full details of the Royal Carl Rosa's 1923 Scottish tour, see entries for AïdaMaritanaLohengrinCarmen, Tales of Hoffmann or Bohemian Girl.

No programme for either Rigoletto performance has been traced as yet. The Glasgow Herald's review on Monday, 19 March does mention the five major principals. ''The performance aroused to enthusiasm an audience which would have been larger if fewer outdoor attractions had been competing with opera on a fine afternoon.'' Even with a relatively popular opera such as this, the infrequency of parformances must have made it very difficult to maintain a consistency of performance. At the second one Maude Neilson's overall contribution was said to be much improved since the first night. Harry Brindle and Olive Gilbert were excellent on both occasions. Horace Vincent was considered at both performances to display an over-fondness for hanging on to his high notes.

The Herald had previously reviewed the production more fully after its performance on Tuesday, 27 February, when the same five lead singers and conductor had featured - ''This opera is in many respects a kind of turn to Il Trovatore. It dates back from the same period, it deals very largely with crude emotions, and it is melodious from start to finish. But the plot in Rigoletto is in all respects superior dramatically to the tangled web which does duty for a plot in the later opera, and it is further noteworthy for offering in the name part a real character study, which all operatic baritones desire to play at some time in their career.

''Last evening the part was taken by Mr Booth Hitchen with very marked success. He is the fortunate possessor of a fine voice which he can use very skilfully for dramatic ends, and through all the wide range of feeling which he was called on to express he sang with real significance. A slight tendency to get above pitch on occasion should be carefully watched. As actor Mr Hitchen was also very satisfactory, and there is only required a little more subtlety in the 'make up' to complete an all-round good performance.''

Company information is from a programme for w/c 5 March in the collection of the V&A, London.

Performance Cast

Rigoletto a jester

Booth Hitchen (Feb 27; Mar 17m)

Duke of Mantua

Horace Vincent (Feb 27; Mar 17m)

Sparafucile a professional assassin

Frederick Clendon (Feb 27; Mar 17m)

Gilda Rigoletto's daughter

Maude Neilson (Feb 27; Mar 17m)

Maddalena sister of Sparafucile

Olive Gilbert (Feb 27; Mar 17m)

Performance DatesRigoletto 1923

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

27 Feb, 19.15 17 Mar, 14.00

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