Opera Scotland

Tales of Hoffmann 1919Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Tales of Hoffmann

The production was reviewed in the Scotsman (11 March).

"Last night's performanceof the opera called for little but praise. There was a very good cast, which included Mr Wiliam Boland as Hoffmann; Miss Lena Maitland as Nicklaus;Miss Florence Barron as Olympia, the doll; Miss Ina Hill as Giulietta; Miss Clara Simons as Antonia; Mr Frederick Clendon as Coppelias, and as Crespel, the father of Antonia; and Mr Robert Brookes as Spalanzani, the doll-maker.  Mr Hebden Foster replaced Mr George McDonald, who is ill, as Dapertutto and Dr Miracle.  The minor characters were all in very capable hands.  Miss Florence Barron's impersonation of the doll is now well known, and last night it displayed the customary finish.  Miss Ina Hill was excellent as Giulietta, and Miss Clara Simons's Antonia was full of freshness and charm.  Miss Lena Maitland's Nicklaus was another good piece of work.  Mr Boland's Hoffmann showed how he has gained in effectiveness, alike as a singer and an actor; and Mr Hebden Foster as Dappertutto and Dr Miracle and Mr Clandon as Coppelius contributed impersonations which were soundly artistic in every detail.  The Spalanzani of Mr Robert Brookes, too, as always was very convincing.  The chorus was good, and under the direction of Mr Herbert Ferrers the performance of the opera was bright and effective."

The senior management of the Royal Carl Rosa Opera Company during the spring tour was headed by two 'Controlling Directors', Mrs Carl Rosa, widow of the founder and Walter van Noorden, who had conducted them in earlier years. The Artistic Director was the experienced bass Arthur Winckworth, still active on stage, and the General Business Manager was Henry Barrett Brandreth. Conducting duties were divided between Henriquez de la Fuente and Herbert Ferrers. By the time of the winter season, a new General Manager was in place, Mr H B Phillips.

The week commencing 27 January was the last week of opera to be seen in Dundee  for several years. Her Majesty's, a beautiful, atmospheric, popular - and profitable - theatre since 1885, was about to be purchased by a London-based cinema company. This event caused widespread outrage, but was a fait accompli, never to be reversed.

At this stage in its performance history, The Tales of Hoffmann was a bit of a problem. It was played with recitative instead of dialogue, like a grand opera. The acts were played in the wrong order, with Antonia's death placed at the end, after the Venetian act, and most of the prologue disappeared altogether. Never mind - it gave punters the opportunity to hear the astonishing talent of Eva Turner beginning her majestic career (and to pity the poor girl who, as Nicklausse, had to duet with her in the Barcarolle).

In December, Glasgow had a visit by a second Carl Rosa group, under the management of H B Phillips. The repertoire had several unusual pieces - Traviata, Rigoletto, Romeo and Juliet - but Hoffmann appeared here too. This cast included an early appearance by Parry Jones in the title role. It also featured an attempt at authenticity, with one baritone singing all three villains, while a single tenor played the three servants - not an idea that was attempted earlier in the year.

The cast for Aberdeen, Monday 20 January, is from a programme in Aberdeen City Library. Partial Dundee casts are compiled from various reviews in the Dundee Advertiser, Dundee Courier & Argus and Dundee Evening Telegraph & Post. The December cast details are from a programme in the Gardiner Collection at the Mitchell Library. The only artist known to have appeared in both casts is the young tenor Lovat Crosley.

The season consisted one week at Aberdeen’s His Majesty’s Theatre (AHMT), then one week at Dundee’s Her Majesty’s Theatre (DHMT). There followed four weeks at Glasgow’s Theatre Royal (GTR). Following a break of one week, there were two weeks at Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum (ERL), then later still another two in Glasgow (GTR). Ten weeks, followed by a further three in December to give thirteen. By now, the company were running a number of separate companies, the Phillips section giving the December performances.

w/c Mon Jan 20 Tales of Hoffmann Tue ToscaWed Tannhauser; Thu MignonFri Carmen; Sat m Madam ButterflySat e Faust. AHMT

w/c Mon Jan 27 Tales of Hoffmann; Tue Tannhauser; Wed Faust; Thu Madam Butterfly; Fri Mignon; Sat mTales of Hoffmann; Sat e Trovatore. DHMT 

w/c Mon 3 Feb Tannhauser; Tue BohèmeWed Madam Butterfly; Thu Trovatore; Fri Tosca; Sat m Mignon; Sat e Tales of Hoffmann. GTR 

w/c Mon 10 Feb Cav and Pag; Tue Faust; Wed Carmen; Thu Tales of Hoffmann; Fri Madam Butterfly; Sat m Tosca; Sat e Maritana. GTR

w/c Mon 17 Feb Bohème; Tue Tannhauser; Wed Mignon; Thu Cav and Pag; Fri Don GiovanniSat m Tales of Hoffmann; Sat e Trovatore. GTR

w/c Mon 24 Feb Carmen; Tue Rigoletto; Wed Carmen; Thu Faust; Fri Tannhauser; Sat m Madam Butterfly; Sat e Bohemian Girl. GTR

w/c Mon 3 Mar Company performing in Liverpool

w/c Mon 10 Mar Tales of Hoffmann; Tue Tosca  ; Wed Faust; Thu Madam Butterfly; Fri Don Giovanni; Sat m Cav and Pag; Sat e Maritana. ERL

w/c Mon 17 Mar Tosca; Tue Tales of Hoffmann; Wed Tannhauser; Thu Bohème; Fri Carmen; Sat m Mignon; Sat e Trovatore; ERL

w/c Mon 30 Jun Tales of Hoffmann; Tue Carmen; Wed Mignon; Thu Cav and Pag; Fri Three Masks; Sat m Madam Butterfly; Sat e Faust GTR

w/c Mon 7 Jul Three Masks; Tue Trovatore; Wed Daughter of the Regiment; Thu Carmen; Fri Marriage of Figaro; Sat m Tales of Hoffmann; Sat e Maritana GTR

w/c Mon 1 Dec Tales of Hoffmann; Tue Carmen; Wed Faust; Thu Cav and Pag; Fri Tannhauser; Sat m Romeo and Juliet; Sat e Rigoletto.

w/c Mon 8 Dec Cav and Pag; Tue Trovatore; Wed Romeo and Juliet; Thu Lily of Killarney; Fri Faust; Sat m Traviata; Sat e Tales of Hoffmann.

w/c Mon 15 Dec Carmen; Tue Tannhauser; Wed Maritana; Thu Rigoletto; Fri Romeo and Juliet; Sat m Cavand Pag; Sat e Tales of Hoffmann


Thirteen weeks @seven performances = ninety-one

Thirteen Tales of Hoffmann

Eight Carmen; Tannhauser; Faust

Seven; Madam Butterfly; Cav and Pag

Six Mignon

Five Trovatore; Tosca

Four Cav and Pag; Maritana

Three Bohème; Romeo and Juliet

Two Three Masks; Don Giovanni; Rigoletto

One Marriage of Figaro; Daughter of the Regiment; Bohemian Girl; Traviata; Lily of Killarney

Performance Cast

Nicklausse Hoffmann's friend

Lena Maitland (Jan 20, 27; Feb 1)

Enid Cruickshank (Dec 13)

Luther an innkeeoer

Tom Hamilton (Jan 20)

Nathaniel a student

Lovat Crosley (Jan 20, 27; Feb 1; Dec 13)

Hermann a student

George Gorst (Jan 20)

William Minette (Dec 13)

Hoffmann a poet

William Boland (Jan 20)

Hughes Macklin (Jan 27; Feb 1)

Parry Jones (Dec 13)

Olympia a doll

Florence Barron (Jan 20, 27; Feb 1)

Alma Vane (Dec 13)

Spalanzani an Italian inventor

Robert Brookes (Jan 20)

Robert Ainsworth (Jan 27; Feb 1)

Mr A J Willard (Dec 13)

Cochenille Spalanzani's servant

George Ashby (Jan 20)

Alphonso McCarthy (Dec 13)

Coppélius a scientist, Spalanzani's rival

Frederick Clendon (Jan 20, 27; Feb 1)

Lewys James (Dec 13)

Antonia Crespel's daughter

Clara Simons (Jan 20, 27; Feb 1)

Kate Campion (Dec 13)

Crespel a councillor of Munich

Frederick Clendon (Jan 20, 27; Feb 1)

Herbert Talbot (Dec 13)

Franz Crespel's servant

John Halliday (Jan 20)

Alphonso McCarthy (Dec 13)

Dr Miracle a doctor

George McDonald (Jan 20, 27; Feb 1)

Lewys James (Dec 13)

Antonia's mother a spirit voice

Gladys Parr (Jan 20)

Esther Yunson (Dec 13)

Giulietta a courtesan

Eva Turner (Jan 20, 27; Feb 1)

Gladys Seager (Dec 13)

Schlemil Giulietta's lover

George Gorst (Jan 20)

William Minette (Dec 13)

Pitichinaccio Giulietta's admirer

Lovat Crosley (Jan 20)

Alphonso McCarthy (Dec 13)

Dapertutto a sorcerer

George McDonald (Jan 20, 27; Feb 1)

Lewys James (Dec 13)

Performance DatesTales of Hoffmann 1919

Map List

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

20 Jan, 19.30

Her Majesty's Theatre, Dundee | Dundee

27 Jan, 19.30 1 Feb, 14.00

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

8 Feb, 19.15 13 Feb, 19.15 22 Feb, 14.00 30 Jun, 19.15 12 Jul, 14.00 1 Dec, 19.15 13 Dec, 19.15 20 Dec, 19.15

Royal Lyceum Theatre | Edinburgh

10 Mar, 19.30 18 Mar, 19.30

© Copyright Opera Scotland 2020

Site by SiteBuddha