Opera Scotland

Barbiere di Siviglia 1928British National Opera Company

Read more about the opera Barber of Seville

Most of the 1927 cast returned for this run.

The only changes among the principals in the Barber were William Michael and William Anderson, succeeding Dennis Noble and Herbert Langley as Figaro and Basilio.

In the Lesson Scene, Noël Eadie sang a coloratura showpiece, the famous Laughing Song from Auber's treatment of the Manon Lescaut story.

Cast details are taken from a programme for 24 October in the NLS.


The verdict in Edinburgh

The Scotsman of 25 October reviewed the matinee of Faust as well as this comment on the Barber:

'There has been nothing more welcome within recent years in connection within opera in this country than the revival of Rossini's comic masterpiece The Barber of Seville,  which now holds a place in the repertories of both the National and Carl Rosa companies.  It is a work compact of wit and charm,  and the lively plot,  and the beauty and drollery of the music,  both on the stage and in the orchestra,  are not to be exhausted of their interest in many hearings.

'The personnel of last night's performance differed a good deal from those of last season,  but there was the same feeling of exhilaration and Mr John Barbirolli gave a rendering of the work in which every point told.  Miss Noël Eadie has a voice which in quality is admirably suited to the music of Rossini,  and to her fluent execution of its florid beauties she added a lively sense of the humour of the work.    If there could rightly be said to be such a voice as a coloratura tenor,  it would find congenial material in the music of Count Almaviva,  and it was with much of the flexibility of the coloratura singer that Mr Heddle Nash acquitted himself in the brilliant music of the rôle.

'Mr Percy Heming's Dr Bartolo and Mr William Michael's Figaro were accomplished examples of buffo singing,  as was also the Don Basilio of Mr William Anderson.  Miss Gladys Parr's Marcellina was an extremely artistic study,  and the little song which goes with the part was an admirable piece of comedy.  Another excellent piece of comedy was Mr Sydney Russell's Notary.  Mr Philip Bertram put good work into the minor rôle of the officer.

'The Barber of Seville, with its elaborate ensemble, and its neatness of touch,  calls in a special degree for fine teamwork,  and in this respect, last night's performance deserved the highest praise.  It was satisfactory to observe that the audience was both very large and highly enthusiastic.'


BNOC in Scotland 1928

This final Scottish tour by BNOC was only four weeks instead of the six enjoyed the previous year.  This is partly because the King's Theatre in Dundee, an excellent modern venue, visited for the first time in 1927,  was now a cinema and no longer available.  But Aberdeen (His Majesty's) was still a welcoming venue along with Edinburgh (King's) and Glasgow (Theatre Royal).

The fifteen operas performed were:

Mozart (Magic Flute);  Rossini (Barber of Seville);  Wagner (Tannhäuser,  Lohengrin;  Mastersingers);  Verdi (TrovatoreAïdaFalstaff);  Gounod (Faust);  Bizet (Carmen);  Massenet (Manon);  Puccini (Bohème,  Madam Butterfly);  Leoncavallo (Pagliacci);  Mascagni (Cavalleria Rusticana)


The tour schedule was as follows:

Aberdeen, w/c 15 October:  Mon 15  Lohengrin;  Tue 16  Carmen;  Wed 17 mat  Tannhäuser;  Wed 17 eve  Madam Butterfly;  Thu 18  Aïda;  Fri 19  Falstaff;  Sat 20 mat  Bohème;  Sat 20 eve  Cav & Pag.

Edinburgh, w/c 22 October:  Mon 22  Manon;  Tue 23  Lohengrin;  Wed 24 mat  Faust;  Wed 24 eve  Barber of Seville;  Thu 25  Magic Flute;  Fri 26  Falstaff;  Sat 27 mat  Carmen;  Sat 27 eve Madam Butterfly.

Glasgow, w/c 29 October:  Mon 29  Lohengrin;  Tue 30  Tannhäuser;  Wed 31 mat  Faust;  Wed 31 eve  Barber of Seville;  Thu 01 Nov  Falstaff;  Fri 02  Manon;  Sat 03 mat Carmen;  Sat 03 eve  Bohème.

Glasgow, w/c 05 November:  Mon 05  Falstaff;  Tue 06  Magic Flute;  Wed 07 mat  Trovatore;  Wed 07 eve  Lohengrin;  Thu 08  Aïda;  Fri 09  Mastersingers;  Sat 10 mat  Manon;  Sat 10 eve  Madam Butterfly.

Performance Cast

Fiorello servant of the Count

Bernard Ross (Oct 24)

Count Almaviva a young nobleman

Heddle Nash (Oct 24)

Figaro a barber

William Michael (Oct 24)

Bartolo a doctor, Rosina's guardian

Percy Heming (Oct 24)

Rosina Bartolo's ward

Noël Eadie (Oct 24)

Don Basilio a singing teacher

William Anderson (Oct 24)

Berta Bartolo's housekeeper

Gladys Parr (Oct 24)


Philip Bertram (Oct 24)


Sydney Russell (Oct 24)

Performance DatesBarbiere di Siviglia 1928

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

24 Oct, 19.30

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

31 Oct, 19.30

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