Opera Scotland

Bohème 1928British National Opera Company

Read more about the opera Bohème

One of the pair of performances was the Saturday matinee in Aberdeen (not reviewed by the press).  The second was on the first Saturday evening in Glasgow'


The Glasgow Review

The Glasgow Herald on Monday, 05 November (p8):

On Saturday evening the company presented Puccini's La Bohème.  Mr John Barbirolli conducted and obtained a notably warm and vivid rendering of the orchestral score.  Some instrumental passages had more than usual eloquence.   But, unfortunately, all of the singers were at times overwhelmed.  They were often totally inaudible in the first act and again in the café scene,  where they might just as well have kept their breath to cool their victuals.  Anyone who was listening to the work for the first time and who had no foreknowledge of the story (and there are some such in every audience),  would have difficulty in guessing what the first two acts were all about.

'The performance owed much to the excellent work of Miss May Blyth as Mimï.  Her impersonation has improved on the lines of indicating more clearly than formerly Mimì's fragility,  and throughout theevening she made artistic use of the rather unusual but most beautiful qualities of her voice.  She made a great impression on the audience in the final scene,  which was even more realistic and moving than usual.  Mr Tudor Davies as Rudolph was in fine voice,  and made the most of Puccini's fervent vocal phrases.  His singing gave real pleasure although he still has the occasional mannerism of adding an audible exclamation both to the beginning and to the end of a phrase.  Mr Philip Bertram as Colline and Mr Bernard Ross as Schaunard contributed greatly to the effect of the last act,  but for the reasons above mentioned it was difficult to estimate their work in the first and second acts.  Former successes as Benoit and Alcindoro were repeated by Mr Sydney Russell.  If possible his interpretation of these two parts seemed better than ever.  Miss Doris Lemon and Mr William Michael were more than adequate in the parts of Musetta and Marcel.


BNOC in Scotland 1928

This final Scottish tour by BNOC was only four weeks instead of the six enjoyed the previous year.  This is partly because the King's Theatre in Dundee, an excellent modern venue, visited for the first time in 1927,  was now a cinema and no longer available.  But Aberdeen (His Majesty's) was still a welcoming venue along with Edinburgh (King's) and Glasgow (Theatre Royal).

The fifteen operas performed were:

Mozart (Magic Flute);  Rossini (Barber of Seville);  Wagner (Tannhäuser,  Lohengrin;  Mastersingers);  Verdi (TrovatoreAïdaFalstaff);  Gounod (Faust);  Bizet (Carmen);  Massenet (Manon);  Puccini (Bohème,  Madam Butterfly);  Leoncavallo (Pagliacci);  Mascagni (Cavalleria Rusticana)


The tour schedule was as follows:

Aberdeen, w/c 15 October:  Mon 15  Lohengrin;  Tue 16  Carmen;  Wed 17 mat  Tannhäuser;  Wed 17 eve  Madam Butterfly;  Thu 18  Aïda;  Fri 19  Falstaff;  Sat 20 mat  Bohème;  Sat 20 eve  Cav & Pag.

Edinburgh, w/c 22 October:  Mon 22  Manon;  Tue 23  Lohengrin;  Wed 24 mat  Faust;  Wed 24 eve  Barber of Seville;  Thu 25  Magic Flute;  Fri 26  Falstaff;  Sat 27 mat  Carmen;  Sat 27 eve Madam Butterfly.

Glasgow, w/c 29 October:  Mon 29  Lohengrin;  Tue 30  Tannhäuser;  Wed 31 mat  Faust;  Wed 31 eve  Barber of Seville;  Thu 01 Nov  Falstaff;  Fri 02  Manon;  Sat 03 mat Carmen;  Sat 03 eve  Bohème.

Glasgow, w/c 05 November:  Mon 05  Falstaff;  Tue 06  Magic Flute;  Wed 07 mat  Trovatore;  Wed 07 eve  Lohengrin;  Thu 08  Aïda;  Fri 09  Mastersingers;  Sat 10 mat  Manon;  Sat 10 eve  Madam Butterfly.

Performance Cast

Rodolfo a poet

Tudor Davies (Nov 03 e)

Marcello a painter

William Michael (Nov 03 e)

Colline a philosopher

Philip Bertram (Nov 03 e)

Schaunard a musician

Bernard Ross (Nov 03 e)

Benoit the students' landlord

Sydney Russell (Nov 03 e)

Mimì a seamstress

May Blyth (Nov 03 e)

Musetta a grisette

Doris Lemon (Nov 03 e)

Alcindoro a wealthy follower of Musetta

Sydney Russell (Nov 03 e)

Performance DatesBohème 1928

Map List

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

20 Oct, 14.00

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

3 Nov, 19.30

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