Opera Scotland

Tannhäuser 1927British National Opera Company

Read more about the opera Tannhäuser

Opera audiences seem to have had an insatiable hunger for what was far and away the most popular Wagner opera, with Carl Rosa also touring it at this time.

How things have changed. It is over half a century since this opera had a fully professional performance in Scotland.


The Edinburgh Perspective

The Scotsman of Monday, 22 October (p8) reviewed the previous Saturday's matinee of Madam Butterfly, as well as the evening Tannhäuser:

'Tannhäuser at night, conducted by Mr Aylmer Buesst, presented a like degree of merit in its performance, although there were a few points, notably the conclusion of the second act, where an excessive speed detracted from the general effect. 

Mr Walter Hyde gave a splendid rendering of the title rôle, singing with a charm of tone which was maintained at no cost of dramatic intensity.

There was a new Elizabeth, Miss Rachel Morton, a rather more human Elizabeth than is commonly seen, and with a beautiful warmth of tone in her singing.

'Miss Gladys Ancrum was in her familiar rôle as Venus, in which she is almost unapproachable, so splendid are both her presence and her declamatory singing. 

Mr Percy Heming was perhaps not quite at his best as Wolfram,  a part which somehow conveys the suggestion of being rather a thankless one, despite the melodious character of its music. 

Mr William Anderson was an effective Landgrave, and Messrs Parry Jones, Philip Bertram, Liddell Peddieson, and Frank Le Pla were the remaining minstrels.

Miss Doris Lemon was the Shepherd Boy, and seldom has the trying song assigned to the young shepherd been given with such accuracy.

The pilgrims got rather out of tune, but there was good choral work in the Hall of Song scene, although it might have been more effective if it had been taken at a slightly reduced speed.'  


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


Gladys Ancrum (Oct 20)

Tannhäuser a knight and minnesinger

Walter Hyde (Oct 20)

Shepherd boy

Doris Lemon (Oct 20)

Wolfram von Eschenbach a knight and minnesinger

Percy Heming (Oct 20)

Hermann Landgrave of Thuringia

William Anderson (Oct 20)

Walther von der Vogelweide a knight and minnesinger

Parry Jones (Oct 20)

Heinrich der Schreiber a knight and minnesinger

Liddell Peddieson (Oct 20)

Biterolf a knight and minnesinger

Philip Bertram (Oct 20)

Reinmar von Zweter a knight and minnesinger

Frank Le Pla (Oct 20)

Elisabeth niece of the Landgrave

Rachel Morton (Oct 20)

Performance DatesTannhäuser 1927

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

8 Oct, 19.30

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

20 Oct, 19.30

© Copyright Opera Scotland 2022

Site by SiteBuddha