Opera Scotland

Bohème 1958Sadler's Wells Opera

Read more about the opera Bohème

On this tour each of the four Saturday evenings saw a performance of La Bohème. Elizabeth Fretwell was suffering from flu during the Dundee week, and also pulled out of the Traviata performance.

The repertoire played in each of the four cities consisted of the same four operas - three performances of the new Merry Widow production, two of Figaro and one each of Bohème and Traviata.


Dundee Press Comment

Dundee Courier & Advertiser: Monday, May 12 1958

Triumphant end to opera week

'Sadler's Wells Opera said farewell for the present to Dundee on Saturday night at the Gaumont Theatre, with the second successive consumptive heroine dying with touching pathos - in Puccini's La Bohème.  The whole audience was held spellbound as Patricia Howard (Mimì) lay on the bed in Rudolph's garret and breathed out those masterly poignant phrases so well known to opera lovers.

'The whole opera was admirably cast with singers who could give it the authentic Italianate fervour yet keeping a balance of sensitive feeling.  It was a decided success for Miss Howard. She was delicate, tender and passionate by turns - and had a lovely ample voice. The tenor, Robert Thomas, was first-class, as usual, as Rudolph. His tone had both quality and quantity.

'Elizabeth Fretwell was to have appeared as Musetta, but she was down with flu at her Broughty Ferry hotel. Patricia Bartlett had a big success in the part.  The Bohemians - Frederick Sharp (Marcel), David Ward (Colline), and John Probyn (Schaunard) - were vocally and roisterously in splendid form.

'Alexander Gibson's handling of the orchestra emphasised again how much the performances of the week owed to this department.'


Sadler's Wells Opera in Scotland - 1958

The four operas performed in each city were Mozart (Marriage of Figaro);  Verdi (La traviata);  Lehár (Merry Widow);  Puccini (La bohème).

The tour visited Edinburgh (King's Theatre);   Dundee (Gaumont Theatre);  Aberdeen (His Majesty's Theatre; and Glasgow (King's Theatre).

The performance schedule was as follows:

Edinburgh, w/c 28 Apr:  Mon 28 Merry Widow;  Tue 29 Traviata;  Wed 30 Marriage of Figaro;  Thu 1 May Merry Widow;  Fri 2 Marriage of Figaro;  Sat 3 m Merry Widow;  Sat 3 e Bohème.

Dundee, w/c 5 May:  Mon 5 May; Merry Widow;  Tue 6 Marriage of Figaro;  Wed 7 Merry Widowe   Thu 8  Marriage of Figaro;  Fri 9 Traviata;  Sat 10 m Merry Widow;  Sat 10 e Bohème.

Aberdeen, w/c 12 May:  Mon 12 Merry Widow;  Tue 13 Marriage of Figaro;  Wed 14 Merry Widow;  Thu 15 Traviata;  Fri 16 Marriage of Figaro;  Sat 17 m Merry Widow;  Sat 17 e Bohème.

Glasgow, w/c 19 May:  Mon 19 Merry Widow;  Tue 20 Marriage of Figaro;  Wed 21 Merry Widow;  Thu 22 Traviata;  Fri 23  Marriage of Figaro;  Sat 24 m Merry Widow;  Sat 24 e Bohème. 

Performance Cast

Rodolfo a poet

Robert Thomas (May 10 e)

Marcello a painter

Frederick Sharp (May 10 e)

Colline a philosopher

David Ward (May 10 e)

Schaunard a musician

John Probyn (May 10 e)

Benoit the students' landlord

Cecil Lloyd (May 10 e)

Mimì a seamstress

Patricia Howard (May 10 e)

Parpignol a toy vendor

John Harvey (May 10 e)

Musetta a grisette

Elizabeth Fretwell

Patricia Bartlett (May 10 e)

Alcindoro a wealthy follower of Musetta

Charles Draper (May 10 e)

Custom-house Sergeant

William Booth (May 10 e)


Ian Macpherson (May 10 e)

Performance DatesBohème 1958

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

3 May, 19.00

Gaumont Theatre | Dundee

10 May, 19.00

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

17 May, 19.00

King's Theatre, Glasgow | Glasgow

24 May, 19.00

© Copyright Opera Scotland 2024

Site by SiteBuddha