Opera Scotland

Tannhäuser 1905Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Tannhäuser

The reviewer for the Glasgow Herald ((28 March) said  "'In the matter of attendance the Carl Rosa Company began fairly well last night with Tannhäuser.  The Grand Theatre could have held a few more people, but the place had at least a well-filled appearance. The Carl Rosa Company must evoke in Glasgow opera-lovers the most pleasant memories.  Somehow in the early Carl Rosa days there was a youthful enthusiasm about things operatic that seems quite lacking at present. There were great worlds to conquer in those days.  When we look down the line of Wagnerian and other operas produced for the first time in English by the indefatigable Rosa we realise how much we owe to him.   The company has, of course, changed much in the course of time.  At present it is remarkably strong on its vocal side.  It is a long time since we heard the smaller roles in Tannhäuser filled with such distinction.  In the tournament of song all the singers, without exception, were worth listening to, and, needless to say, this unusual state of affairs added greatly to one's enjoyment.  The solo of the shepherd boy, that opens the second scene of the first act, was also very prettily sung.  The chorus is not a very large one, but it too, is thoroughly efficient.  The difficult problem of first tenor seems to have been satisfactorily solved.  Altogether, the Carl Rosa Company does not depend only on the 'stars'.

'Mr Hedmondt, with diminished vocal powers, may be regarded as a victim to Wagnerian roles.  Yet though his voice is not at all what it was, he is such a fine artist that one almost forgets his vocal limitations.  He is still the best Tannhäuser we have had in Glasgow.  Last night we had again Wagner's minstrel knight, never a little anything, but each thing fully and entirely  as energetic in sin as in saintliness.  Mr Hedmondt's Tannhäuser should not be missed by those who have not seen it.  Madame Sobrino made vocally a quite convincing Elisabeth, although she did not give the character much colour.  Mr Arthur Winckworth was a splendid Landgrave, and hardly less good was the Wolfram of Mr Lewys James.  The smaller parts, divided amongst Miss Douglas-Wilson, Miss Ethel Pender-Cudlip, and Messrs Frank Arthur, Henry Bateman, Albert Fenton and Edward Davies were filled, as we have already said, with every success.   A better all-round stage performance of Tannhäuser we have seldom heard.  

'Excellent as was the work done behind the footlights,  the performance, as a whole, was considerably marred by a very unsatisfactory orchestra, under Mr Eugene Goossens.  The strings were especially trying.  We suppose from a touring opera company we cannot expect everything.  But the Carl Rosa management really should see to their band.  Last night its thin 'scratchy' tones were an almost continuous annoyance.  With the instrumental on a level with the vocal, the company might even better their former best days."


On this return to Scotland after an absence of a few years, Carl Rosa Opera's  performances were as follows:-

Week 1, comm 27 Mar: Mon Tannhäuser; Tue Don Giovanni; Wed Faust; Thu Lohengrin; Fri Rigoletto; Sat m Cav & Pag; Sat e Maritana.

Week 2, comm 3 Apr: Mon Faust; Tue Tristan and Isolde; Wed Rigoletto; Thu Tannhäuser; Fri Marriage of Figaro; Sat m Don Giovanni; Sat e Carmen.

Performance Cast

Tannhäuser a knight and minnesinger

Charles Hedmondt

Hermann Landgrave of Thuringia

Arthur Winckworth

Wolfram von Eschenbach a knight and minnesinger

Lewys James

Elisabeth niece of the Landgrave

Madame Sobrino

Performance DatesTannhäuser 1905

Map List

Grand Theatre, Glasgow | Glasgow

27 Mar, 19.30 6 Apr, 19.30

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