Opera Scotland

Götterdämmerung 1927British National Opera Company

Read more about the opera Twilight of the Gods

BNOC really do seem to have succeeded in keeping together a good company of Wagnerian performers throughout the twenties, under the authoritative baton of Wagner expert Aylmer Buesst.

The cast for the Edinburgh performance on Tuesday, 18 October is taken from the Scotsman review on Wednesday, 19 October (p8).


The Scotsman Review

'A good deal of The Dusk of the Gods,  which was given at the King's Theatre last night,  is familiar to the public from concert performances,  ''Siegfried's Journey to the Rhine,'' ''Hagen's Watch,''  ''Siegfried's Funeral March,''  and ''Brünnhilde's Farewell,'' making frequent appearances in Wagner programmes.  The opera, however,  one of the latest additions to the British National Opera repertory,  has not been heard in Edinburgh since the pre-war days,  when Mr Ernst Denhof gave the complete Ring at the King's Theatre, its first performance in this country outside London.

'The fourth section of the Ring Cycle,  it presents the culmination of the tragedy which has followed in the wake of the struggle to obtain possession of the magic Rhine gold.  Viewed as a separate opera, it is the story of the death of Siegfried,  which was,  in fact,  the title of the work, as originally projected.

'Of The Valkyrie there have been a number of performances of recent years,  and also several of Siegfried.  It is probable that most people in the King's Theatre last night understood the march of events in The Ring sufficiently well that nothing in the plot of The Dusk of the Gods was likely to stand in the way of their enjoyment of the music.  Save that the orchestra was perhaps rather small in proportion to the scale of the music - it is quality of tone, and not necessarily only quantity that is gained from a large orchestra - the programme,  which was directed by Mr Aylmer Buesst,  was deserving of the highest praise.

'Mr Walter Hyde is blessed with an unfailing youthfulness of voice and bearing,  and he was in quite his best form, last night,  as Siegfried,  singing with a freshness which was a constant delight.  Miss Beatrice Miranda, making her one appearance with the Company during the present stay in Edinburgh,  gave a powerful and dramatic rendering of the great final scene.   She has sung the ''Farewell'' in Edinburgh before, on the concert platform,  but,  given under its proper conditions last night,  it made a deep impression on the audience.

'The Gunther of Mr Andrew Shanks,  the Hagen of Mr William Anderson,  and the Alberich of Mr William Michael,  were all good,  the night-watch scene, with the colloquy of the sombre Hagen with his sinister father being very effective.  Miss Constance Willis as Waltraute and Miss Eda Bennie as Gutrune were both excellent,  and there was good work by the Misses Constance Willis,  May Blyth,  and Doris Lemon, as the three Norns in the opening scene,  and also by the Misses Doris Lemon,  Marjorie Parry,  and Gladys Parr as the Rhinemaidens.

'The Dusk of the Gods is an exceedingly difficult opera to stage,  if too literal adherence to Wagner's own stage directions is attempted.  Last night,  the spirit rather than the letter of his instructions was observed,  and there were sundry judicious omissions,  Brünnhilde's horse being one of them,  while not too much was made of the final catastrophe.

'For the rest,  each scene was a fine piece of design and colour,  with a happy blending of the realistic and of conventionalised representation.  Despite the rather inconveniently early hour at which the performance necessarily began,  there was a large audience.'


BNOC in Scotland 1927

The 1927 Scottish tour included six weeks, two each in Glasgow (Theatre Royal) and Edinburgh (King's), and a further week each in Aberdeen (His Majesty's) and Dundee (King's) - the first time that BNOC went north of the central belt.

Fifteen operas were performed:

Mozart (Marriage of Figaro,  Magic Flute);  Rossini (Barber of Seville);  Wagner (Tannhäuser,  Mastersingers,  Valkyrie,  Twilight of the Gods);   Verdi  (Aïda);   Bizet (Carmen);  Saint-Saëns (Samson and Delilah);  Massenet (Manon);   Leoncavallo  (Pagliacci);   Puccini  (Bohème,  Madam Butterfly,  Gianni Schicchi).

The schedule was as follows:

Glasgow, w/c 26 September:  Mon 26  Barber of Seville;  Tue 27  Magic Flute;  Wed 28 mat  Bohème;  Wed 28 eve  Gianni Schicchi & Pagliacci:  Thu 29  Valkyrie;  Fri 30  Marriage of Figaro  Sat 01 mat  Madam Butterfly;  Sat 01 eve  Aïda.

Glasgow, w/c 03 October:  Mon 03  Carmen;  Tue 04  Manon;  Wed 05 mat  Marriage of Figaro;  Wed 05 eve  Barber of Seville;  Thu 06  Mastersingers;  Fri 07  Samson and Delilah;  Sat 08 mat  Magic Flute;  Sat 08 eve  Tannhäuser.

Edinburgh, w/c 10 October: Mon 10  Barber of Seville; Tue 11  Mastersingers;  Wed 12 mat  Gianni Schicchi & Pagliacci;  Wed 12 eve  Magic Flute;  Thu 13  Manon;  Fri 14  Marriage of Figaro;  Sat 15 mat  Bohème;  Sat 15 eve  Samson and Delilah.

Edinburgh, w/c  17 October:  Mon 17  Barber of Seville;  Tue 18  Twilight of the Gods;  Wed 19 mat Madam Butterfly;  Wed 19 eve  Tannhäuser;  Thu 20  Carmen;  Fri 21  Manon;  Sat 22 mat  Magic Flute;  Sat 22 eve  Aïda.

Aberdeen, w/c 24 October:  Mon 24  Barber of Seville;  Tue 25  Twilight of the Gods;  Wed 26 mat  Magic Flute;  Wed 26 eve Manon;  Thu 27 Mastersingers;  Fri 28  Marriage of Figaro;  Sat 29 mat  Madam Butterfly;  Sat 29 eve Aïda.

Dundee, w/c 31 October: Mon 31  Mastersingers;  Tue 01 Nov  Barber of Seville;  Wed 02 mat  Marriage of Figaro;  Wed 02 eve  Madam Butterfly;  Thu 03  Manon;  Fri 04  Valkyrie;  Sat 05 mat  Bohème;  Sat 05 eve  Aïda.

Performance Cast

First Norn

Constance Willis (Oct 18)

Second Norn

May Blyth (Oct 18)

Third Norn

Doris Lemon (Oct 18)

Brünnhilde Siegfried's lover

Beatrice Miranda (Oct 18)


Walter Hyde (Oct 18)

Gunther a Gibichung

Andrew Shanks (Oct 18)

Hagen son of Alberich

William Anderson (Oct 18)

Gutrune a Gibichung, Gunther's sister

Eda Bennie (Oct 18)

Waltraute a Valkyrie, Brünnhilde's sister

Constance Willis (Oct 18)

Alberich a Nibelung

William Michael (Oct 18)

Woglinde a Rhinemaiden

Doris Lemon (Oct 18)

Wellgunde a Rhinemaiden

Marjorie Parry (Oct 18)

Flosshilde a Rhinemaiden

Gladys Parr (Oct 18)

Performance DatesGötterdämmerung 1927

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

18 Oct, 18.15

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

25 Oct, 18.15

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