Opera Scotland

Olympians 1950Covent Garden Opera

Read more about the opera Olympians

The single Scottish performance of this strange work by J B Priestley and Arthur Bliss brought to Edinburgh several of the original players. In London, most performances had been conducted by Karl Rankl (soon to become familiar to Scots as chief conductor of the SNO). The dates on tour were mainly led by Peter Gellhorn - they took five each.

The performances were spread over six months and several of the principal parts changed hands during the long run. The role of Madeleine was sung at three performances by Adèle Leigh and at seven by Shirley Russell. James Johnston sang six performances as Hector, Rudolf Schock the remaining four. The baritone Kenneth Schon created the role of Jupiter, and sang eight times, with Jess Walters the remaining two. The Scottish tenor Murray Dickie also sang eight performances and Parry Jones two. Most performances of Diana were sung by Margherita Grandi. The remaining cast members all sang the complete run of ten nights.

The cast for the Edinburgh performance is from a copy of the programme in the National Library of Scotland. A second copy in the Edinburgh Room collection (Edinburgh City Library) is annotated by hand to suggest that Parry Jones was substituted at very short notice for the scheduled Murray Dickie as the Curé.

Performance Cast

Curé an elderly priest

Parry Jones

Madame Bardeau Landlady of the 'Golden Duck'

Edith Coates

Jean a porter at the 'Golden Duck'

Ronald Lewis

Joseph Lavatte a wealthy bourgeois

Howell Glynne

Madeleine Lavatte's daughter

Adèle Leigh

Hector de Florac a young romantic poet

James Johnston

Alfred a night watchman in Lavatte's house

Michael Langdon

Mercury one of the Olympians, a strolling player

Pirmin Trecu

Venus one of the Olympians, a strolling player

Moyra Fraser

Bacchus one of the Olympians, a strolling player

Thorsteinn Hannesson

Mars one of the Olympians, a strolling player

David Franklin

Diana one of the Olympians, a strolling player

Audrey Bowman

Jupiter one of the Olympians, a strolling player

Jess Walters

Performance DatesOlympians 1950

Map List

Empire Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

21 Apr, 19.00

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