Opera Scotland

Bohème 1925British National Opera Company

Read more about the opera Bohème

May Blyth, previously associated largely with mezzo-soprano 'trouser' roles, here takes a major step towards the parts that would be important in the future, such as Eva and Aïda.


An Edinburgh Perspective

The Scotsman of Thursday, 15 October (p6) gives accounts of the previous evening's Aïda as well as the matinee of Bohème

'A striking illustration of the resources of the British National Opera Company was provided by the two fine performances which were given yesterday.  In the afternoon there was La Bohème and at night Aïda.  In each case there was admirable work, which served as a reminder, if any were needed, of the importance of the British National Opera Company as an element in the musical life of the country, and of the paramount necessity of extending to the Company that measure of support which will render it what it ought to be - a permanent national institution, free to develop its activities unhampered by anxieties as to the future.

'Puccini's opera was given with an excellent cast, the outstanding feature of which was the Mimì of Miss May Blyth, the finest thing she has yet done here.  It was a delightfully sympathetic interpretation.  The Musetta of Miss Eda Bennie was also full of charm.  The students, Mr Tudor Davies as Rudolph, the Marcel of Mr William Michael, the Colline of Mr William Anderson, and the Schaunard of Mr Frederic Collier were all interpretations the high artistic qualities of which are now familiar.  Mr Aylmer Buesst conducted.


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

Rodolfo a poet

Tudor Davies (Oct 14 m)

Marcello a painter

William Michael (Oct 14 m)

Colline a philosopher

William Anderson (Oct 14 m)

Schaunard a musician

Frederic Collier (Oct 14 m)

Mimì a seamstress

May Blyth (Oct 14 m)

Musetta a grisette

Eda Bennie (Oct 14 m)

Performance DatesBohème 1925

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

3 Oct, 19.30

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

14 Oct, 14.00 22 Oct, 19.30

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