Opera Scotland

Bohème 1936Covent Garden Opera

Read more about the opera Bohème

By 1936 the management at Covent Garden had changed, with the departure of Eustace Blois from the post of Managing Director. Things were now on a more spectacular footing, with a two week long Grand Opera Festival in Edinburgh, repeated in Glasgow, and under the auspices of proprietors the London & Provincial Opera Society. This was in conjunction with the Imperial League of Opera, a product of Sir Thomas Beecham's long-standing attempts to introduce sponsorship by individuals and corporations based throughout the country. This company also adopted the title of Royal Opera, Covent Garden.

Sir Thomas was named as Artistic Director, with John Barbirolli, Clarence Raybould and Robert Ainsworth, continuing from the old regime, among the conductors. Following the introduction of the 'International Seasons' at Covent Garden, the language policy had changed - Italian works were to be sung in Italian and French in French. Only the German works would be given in English (and there were no native British works on display).

The repertoire for the two week Edinburgh visit was:

Mon 24 Feb tbc; Tue 25 Feb tbc; Wed 26 Feb Bohème; Thu 27 Feb Siegfried; Fri 28 Feb Barbiere di Siviglia; Sat 29 Feb mat Bohème; Sat 29 Feb eve Freischütz.

Mon 2 Mar Tristan and Isolde; Tue 3 Mar Roméo et Juliette; Wed 4 Mar Siegfried; Thu 5 Mar Barbiere di Siviglia; Fri 6 Mar Roméo et Juliette; Sat 7 Mar mat Freischütz; Sat 7 Mar eve Bohème.

They then moved on to Glasgow.

Bohème cast details are from a programme for 26 February in Edinburgh City Library

The tenor Dino Borgioli played an important role in the development of opera in Britain after the war, both as manager and as teacher. The soprano Lisa Perli was in fact a well-known English singer, Dora Labbette, who adopted the suitably foreign name when appearing in opera.

Performance Cast

Rodolfo a poet

Dino Borgioli

Marcello a painter

Leyland White

Colline a philosopher

Robert Easton

Schaunard a musician

Robert Alva

Benoit the students' landlord

Octave Dua

Mimì a seamstress

Lisa Perli

Parpignol a toy vendor

Percy Harris

Musetta a grisette

Stella Andreva

Alcindoro a wealthy follower of Musetta

Octave Dua

Performance DatesBohème 1936

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

26 Feb, 19.30 29 Feb, 14.00 7 Mar, 19.30

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