Opera Scotland

Bohème 1922Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Bohème

The Carl Rosa's Scottish tour at the beginning of 1922 was an unusually long one with 21 different operas on display. If the seven renderings of Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci are regarded as fourteen shows, that totals 105 performances (instead of 98) over the fourteen weeks from 16 January to 22 April embracing five venues. It began in the north-east, with one week in Perth, two in Aberdeen and one in Dundee. There followed an eight week stay in Glasgow, almost a northern headquarters for the company, and two final weeks in Edinburgh.

The most frequently performed operas in the season were Samson and Delilah (11), Carmen (9) and Madam Butterfly (9). Four works received only a single outing - The Valkyrie (in Aberdeen) and Lily of KillarneyBohème and Tosca in Glasgow.

The first week commencing Monday, 16 January, in Perth's delightfully intimate Edwardian auditorium, ran in this order: Mon Carmen; Tue Tales of Hoffmann, Wed Maritana, Thu Samson and Delilah, Fri Cav & Pag, Sat mat Madam Butterfly, Sat eve Il Trovatore.

In Aberdeen there were changes. Cav & Pag were dropped briefly, but the expanded repertoire saw the introduction of Bohemian GirlFaust and Mignon, as well as some larger-scale works by Verdi (Aïda) and Wagner (Tannhäuser, LohengrinValkyrie).

Dundee had not been visited since 1919 when Her Majesty's became a cinema, but the King's was now available, at least until 1928, when it, too, was acquired by a cinema company. The schedule for the week in Dundee was a fairly standard digest of the existing repertoire - Mon Faust, Tue Carmen, Wed Cav & Pag, Thu Samson and Delilah, Fri Tannhäuser, Sat Mat Madam Butterfly, and Sat Eve Trovatore.

With eight weeks to fill, it was inevitable that as well as nearly all of the above, a number of works would appear that were not seen elsewhere. These included Lily of Killarney, RigolettoMastersingersBohème and Tosca.


The Carl Rosa gave Bohème its British premiere in Manchester, and it was a mainstay of the company's operations during its final years. It seems strange, then, that it should appear quite rarely in the schedules between times. Even stranger is the fact that in this extensive Scottish tour in the late winter of 1922 Bohème is only given a single performance in Glasgow, and the same cursory treatment is given to another Puccini favourite, Tosca. By contrast, Butterfly receives ten performances and is seen in each of the five venues visited.

Cast details, along with the previous evening's Trovatore, are from a programme in the Gardiner collection at the Mitchell Library.

Performance Cast

Rodolfo a poet

Gwynne Davies

Marcello a painter

Kingsley Lark

Colline a philosopher

Harry Brindle

Schaunard a musician

Frederick Clendon

Benoit the students' landlord

Tom Rowland

Mimì a seamstress

Gladys Cranston

Parpignol a toy vendor

Jack Wright

Musetta a grisette

Margaret Tweedy

Alcindoro a wealthy follower of Musetta

Parkyn Newton

Performance DatesBohème 1922

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

1 Mar, 19.15

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