Opera Scotland

Prince Ferelon 1924Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Prince Ferelon

Nicholas Comyn Gatty (1874-1946) was a recognised operatic compeser at this point. Prince Ferelon was his fourth attempt, described as a Musical Extravaganza.  His most recent had been an adaptation of The Tempest.

The Carl Rosa introduced it as the first part of a triple bill that, in Scotland, received two performances, one each in Glasgow and Edinburgh. The second item was a ballet called Cameo, with a musical score adapted from Brahms and Schubert. The third item was the ever-popular Pagliacci. The Edinburgh Evening News review of Friday, 11 April does not credit a conductor for Prince Ferelon, but specifies that Hubert Bath took charge of Cameo and Charles Webber the Leoncavallo.  A programme for 10 April is archived in Edinburgh Central library.

The Evening News headlined its review as 'An Interesting Triple Programme' and continued: 'In presenting a musical extravaganza, a ballet, and Leoncavallo's Pagliacci, in the Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, last night, the Royal Carl Rosa Opera made an interesting departure from their customary programme. The innovation was entirely successful, and it is to be regretted that the audience was not larger.'

'The Extravaganza Prince Ferelon, produced for the first time in the city, was composed by Nicholas Gatty, and first performed at the ''Old Vic'' in May, 1921. The story deals with a princess who was so hard to please in the matter of suitors that her father, the king, decided to leave the choice to the Court.  The three suitors, however, are one and the same person - Prince Ferelon - and failing to win approval by the presentation of gorgeous dresses, music, and dancing, he is finally successful as a wandering musician.'

'There is a great deal of humour in the work, and the music, delightful from start to finish, reminds one of Mozart in his happiest mood. The period of the work is that ''of fairy tales'' and accordingly the dresses and staging are slightly fantastic.'

'As Prince Ferelon Mr Appleton Moore was very successful, his portrayal of the three characters being replete with humour. The many passages in the music dealing with his love for the Princess were excellently rendered. As the King and Princess respectively Mr Frederick Clendon and Miss Maude Neilson gave convincing studies, while the Meryl of Miss Helen Breen was a charming portrayal.'

Following his assumption of management, Mr H B Phillips announced that he would introduce significant elements of dance to the opera programmes. Cameo was included here. Described as an Entr'acte Ballet it took as its subject the old commedia dell'arte theme of Pierrot (Miss Jean Lawson) interfering in the love of Columbine (Miss Ailne Phillips) and Harlequin (Miss Jean Brady). While the term choreographer is not yet in general use, Ailne Phillips, the manager's niece, is generally credited as both principal dancer and arranger for the company. The music was taken from compositions by Schubert and Brahms and the orchestra was conducted by Hubert Bath.

Performance Cast

Prince Ferelon

Appleton Moore (10 Apr)

King

Frederick Clendon (10 Apr)

Princess

Maude Neilson (10 Apr)

Meryl

Helen Breen (10 Apr)

Performance DatesPrince Ferelon 1924

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

21 Mar, 19.15

Royal Lyceum Theatre | Edinburgh

10 Apr, 19.15

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