Opera in Glasgow: “Nicolai and Verdi”, March 1907

An article headed “OPERA IN GLASGOW. – NICOLAI AND VERDI”, published on page eleven of The Glasgow Herald, on Monday the 11th of March 1907, reads:


“On Saturday the Carl Rosa Company brought their visit to a close with ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor’ and ‘Il Trovatore.’ When Nicolai’s work was played on an earlier date in the Grand Theatre the attention of amateurs was divided between it and Verdi’s ‘Aida’ at the King’s. On Saturday afternoon all who wished to see the Carl Rosa production could do so without sacrificing any other musical feast. The theatre was not crowded, but there was an audience of respectable size, and everybody seemed delighted with the work and its setting and performance. It would serve no useful purpose to compare the productions of the rival companies. Each has distinctive excellences. Perhaps one might say that the Carl Rosa Company aims at musical efficiency, balance, and an attractive setting; while their rivals accentuate the humorous note, without, of course, failing to reach a high point of musical excellence. Mr Manners, as Falstaff, treads occasionally on the verge of burlesque. Mr Winckworth, in the same role, errs perhaps on the side of restraint. The performances of both companies borrow something from their central figure. Preference will depend largely on temperament. The Carl Rosa Company, however, do the work every justice. There are no loose ends. The rounded completeness of the production speaks of the artistic directing hand, without which a comic opera may easily fall into scrappiness. The stage setting is admirable. In the last scene eye and ear are almost equally pleased. Miss Elizabeth Burgess and Miss Doris Woodall were merry wives without any serious loss of dignity, and both were vocally satisfactory. Mr Charles Victor brings some personal touches to every part he fills; his Mr Ford is as good as anything he has done. Miss Ina Hill was delightful as Ann Page; she was allowed greater opportunities than the representative of the part in the other company, and of these she took full advantage.”


“Excellent work” was done by other members of the cast, and “a high artistic level was reached by chorus and orchestra.”


The review concluded, noting briefly that ‘Il Trovatore’ “drew out a large audience” in the evening.  The leading performers are named, and “the opera ran a successful course.”


The Merry Wives of Windsor, a three-act opera by Otto Nicolai (1810-49), was presented as a matinee performance at Glasgow’s Grand Theatre on Saturday the 9th of March 1907.