Opera Scotland

Pagliacci 1924Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Pagliacci

The Carl Rosa company was in the habit of coming to Scotland in February and running its tour through the early spring. In early 1924, from 28 January to 19 April they toured Aberdeen, Perth, Greenock, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Four of these performances were in the usual pairing with Cavalleria. Two, however, 21 March in Glasgow, and 10 April in Edinburgh, were in a short-lived experimental coupling with a new one-act work, Prince Ferelon, by Nicholas Comyn Gatty, and a short ballet, Cameo. Neither lasted long.

There is only a relatively brief review in the Aberdeen Press and Journal of Monday, 4 February. It would not generally cover Saturday, but this was the mid-point of a two week visit, and the notice had to include the matinee of Faust as well as the inevitable first half Cavalleria.

The P & J reported: 'Mr Moore's Tonio in Pagliacci was an even finer performance (than his Alfio). From the prologue, splendidly sung, on to the culmination of the tragedy, it was a study of a type of human nature arresting in its psychological truth. Mr Boland was an almost too powerful Canio. There were moments when his dramatic style had a rare vividness; at other times it was exaggerated. The passion was torn to tatters in the ''Sob Song'', and in the hurricane of emotion time and rhythm frequently came to grief - Mr Boland in his moments of super-intensity must be a source of anxiety to conductors.'

'Miss Eveline Birks was entirely satisfying as Nedda. She played with a pathetic gaiety which rang true, and there was a richness and finish in her singing. The Silvio of Mr Ross was also notably good. We have not heard a finer rendering of the duet for long.'

The Scotsman of Monday, 7 April, gave an abbreviated cast list for the final Glasgow matinee - most attention was being paid to the three extra performances of Fidelio mounted during the week.

The Edinburgh Evening News of Friday, 11 April, gives a complete cast for the previous evening's performance, but, not surpringly, devotes most of its column inches to the Leoncavallo's unfamiliar companions, both operatic (Prince Ferelon) and balletic (Cameo).

Performance Cast

Tonio a player

Appleton Moore (Feb 2e; Apr 10)

Booth Hitchen (Apr 5m)

Canio leader of the players

William Boland (Feb 2e)

Hughes Macklin (Apr 5m, 10)

Nedda Canio's wife

Eveline Birks (Feb 2e; Apr 5m, 10)

Beppe a player

Jack Wright (Apr 10)

Silvio a villager

Bernard Ross (Feb 2e; Apr 10)

Performance DatesPagliacci 1924

Map List

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

2 Feb, 19.15

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

12 Mar, 19.15 21 Mar, 19.15 5 Apr, 14.15

Royal Lyceum Theatre | Edinburgh

10 Apr, 19.15 18 Apr, 19.15

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