Opera Scotland

Zauberflöte 1925British National Opera Company

Read more about the opera Magic Flute

It is very common to find only perfunctory details in a newspaper review for a long cast list such as The Magic Flute. In this case the Scotsman of 16 October lists everyone.


An Edinburgh Opinion

The Scotsman of Friday, 16 October (p6) commented on the previous evening's performance:

'Mozart's Magic Flute still retains its magical influence to judge by the warmly appreciative audience which it drew to the King's Theatre, Edinburgh, last night, when the opera was admirably interpreted by the British National Opera Company.  Out of Schikaneder's cheap and very unpromising libretto, Mozart has wrought an incomparable work of art, which will continue to charm when more modern and strenuously ambitious works have ceased to be heard.

'The perennial freshness and spontaneity of Mozart's music has been somewhat amusingly commented upon in a recent work by a German satirist, who, in describing the musical activities of a society in the far future, depicts the geniuses of the time entertaining the people to the very latest creations in musical modernism, and then quietly retiring at night to their secret country house - not to concoct more advanced specimens of their art to further delude the ''highbrows'', but to enjoy some real music.  And the ''antiquated' music they play is Mozart's.  But perhaps it is too late in the day to say the obvious thing about the lucid charm and never-failing appeal of the great master.

'Last night's performance, under the eminently capable control of Mr Malcolm Sargent, was a delightful, and in some ways exceptionally impressive, one.

After its somewhat unconvincing beginning - the sight of a robust Prince falling in terror before the protruding anatomy of a serpent that seems like a carnival worm that might at best scare an unsophisticated infant is apt to be disillusioning - the opera went on pleasurably in ever-increasing brilliance.  The music, both instrumental and vocal, was rendered with the precision and light grace which is its special charm, and in its graver moments, as in the Temple scenes, was given with expressive beauty of tone.

'The principals were well suited to their parts, and each contributed valuably to the general success.

Miss Sylvia Nelis made a sweet and appealing Pamina.  he was nowhere better than in her delightful duet with Papageno at the end of the first act.

The Tamino of Mr Parry Jones was effective, especially in a vocal sense.

Mr Dennis Noble gave an exceptionally pleasing account of himself in the humorous rôle of Papageno.  His acting and singing were excellent.  He found a fine humorous ally in Miss Jessie Mitchell as Papagena.

'As for Mr Norman Allin in the grave and majestic part of Sarastro, it is difficult to speak without superlatives. His robust voice and commanding presence dominated the performance. Surely no Sarastro has ever been so impressive. 

A special word of praise must be given to Miss Noël Eadie for her fine singing of the difficult songs of the Queen of the Night.  Mr Andrew Shanks also sang well in the part of the Speaker.  The Monostatos of Mr Sydney Russell was a fine piece of humorous characterisation.

'The concerted vocal work was exceptionally well done, especially the gravely beautiful hymn to Isis. This music is perhaps the most impressive in the whole opera. 

Misses Margaret Tweedy, Frances Frost, and Molly Street as the Genii sang well in concert, as did also Misses Eda Bennie, Marjorie Parry and Amy Sissons as the three ladies. 

The Men in Armour, Mr Liddell Peddieson and Mr Philip Bertram were also deserving of praise. The opera was economically but effectively staged.'


BNOC in Scotland - 1925

The 1925 tour consisted of two weeks in Glasgow (Theatre Royal) followed by two weeks in Edinburgh (King's).

The 19 operas performed during the tour were:

Bach (Coffee Cantata);  Mozart (Magic Flute); Wagner (Tannhäuser, Tristan and Isolde Mastersingers); Verdi (RigolettoAïdaOtello); Offenbach (Tales of Hoffmann);  Bizet (Carmen);  Rimsky-Korsakov (Golden Cockerel);  Leoncavallo (Pagliacci);  Mascagni (Cavalleria Rusticana); Puccini (BohèmeToscaMadam ButterflyGianni Schicchi); Holst (At the Boar's Head);  Vaughan Williams (Hugh the Drover).

The tour schedule was:

Glasgow, w/c 28 September: Mon 28 Rigoletto;  Tue 29 Tannhäuser;  Wed 30 mat Cav & Pag;  Wed 30 eve Hugh the Drover;  Thu 1 Oct Otello;  Fri 2 Madam Butterfly; Sat 3 mat Magic Flute;  Sat 3 eve Bohème.

Glasgow, w/c 5 October: Mon 5 Carmen; Tue 6 Coffee Cantata & Golden Cockerel; Wed 7 mat Rigoletto;  Wed 7 eve Mastersingers;  Thu 8 Otello;  Fri 9 Tristan and Isolde;  Sat 10 mat Tales of Hoffmann;  Sat 10 eve Aïda.

Edinburgh, w/c 12 October: Mon 12 Mastersingers;  Tue 13 Tannhäuser;  Wed 14  mat Bohème; Wed 14 eve Aïda;  Thu 15 Magic Flute;  Fri 16 Coffee Cantata & Hugh the Drover;  Sat 17 mat Golden Cockerel;  Sat 17 eve Carmen.

Edinburgh, w/c 19 October: Mon 19 Otello;  Tue 20 At the Boar's Head & Gianni Schicchi;  Wed 21 mat Cav Pag;  Wed 21 eve Rigoletto;  Thu 22 Bohème;  Fri 23 Tosca;  Sat 24 mat Carmen;  Sat 24 eve Tales of Hoffmann.

Performance Cast

Tamino a Prince

Parry Jones (Oct 15)

First Lady in attendance on the Queen

Eda Bennie (Oct 15)

Second Lady in attendance on the Queen

Marjorie Parry (Oct 15)

Third Lady in attendance on the Queen

Amy Sissons (Oct 15)

Papageno a bird-catcher

Dennis Noble (Nov 15)

Queen of Night

Noël Eadie (Oct 15)

Monostatos a servant in the Temple

Sydney Russell (Oct 15)

Pamina daughter of the Queen of Night

Sylvia Nelis (Oct 15)

First Boy

Margaret Tweedy (Oct 15)

Second Boy

Frances Frost (Oct 15)

Third Boy

Mollie Street (Oct 15)

Speaker at the Temple

Andrew Shanks (Oct 15)

Sarastro High Priest of Isis and Osiris

Norman Allin (Oct 15)

First Priest

Liddell Peddieson (Oct 15)

Second Priest

Philip Bertram (Oct 15)

Papagena disguised as an old woman

Jessie Mitchell (Oct 15)

First Armed Man

Liddell Peddieson (Oct 15)

Second Armed Man

Philip Bertram (Oct 15)

Performance DatesZauberflöte 1925

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

15 Oct, 19.00

© Copyright Opera Scotland 2024

Site by SiteBuddha