Opera Scotland

Rigoletto 1925British National Opera Company

Read more about the opera Rigoletto

Malcolm Sargent shows his versatility as an opera conductor on this tour, with works ranging from the recent Vaughan Williams piece, Hugh the Drover, to Bach (Coffee Cantata), Mozart (Magic Flute), Wagner (Mastersingers), Bizet (Carmen), Puccini (Tosca) and Verdi - not just Aïda, but here tackling Rigoletto as well.


An Edinburgh View

During the final week of the Scottish visit, the Scotsman covered the mid-week programme succinctly, with brief notices of the matinee Cav & Pag as well as the evening Rigoletto.

'Rigoletto is a recent addition to the repertory of the British National Opera Company, and its performance drew one of the largest audiences which has been seen in the King's Theatre during the present fortnight. The opera is well known in Edinburgh, and it was a pleasure to have it presented under such excellent conditions as prevailed last night. Alike in casting and in mounting, the opera was presented in a style which was in accordance with the fine traditions of the company.

'Mr Tudor Davies sang with his wonted charm as the Duke, while Mr William Michael's Rigoletto, one of the great characters of opera, was admirable in its suggestion of the changing moods of the jester. 

Miss Sylvia Nelis, as Gilda, presented the character, with a fresh, girlish charm of voice and demeanour which was a welcome change from the conventional methods of the prima donna.

'The Maddalena of Miss Justine Griffiths was attractive, and there was the right sombre force in the Sparafucile of Mr William Anderson.  The other characters were all capably presented, and the staging of the opera was eminently artistic. 

Mr Malcolm Sargent 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

Duke of Mantua

Tudor Davies (Oct 21 e)

Rigoletto a jester

William Michael (Oct 21 e)

Sparafucile a professional assassin

William Anderson (Oct 21 e)

Gilda Rigoletto's daughter

Sylvia Nelis (Oct 21 e)

Maddalena sister of Sparafucile

Justine Griffiths (Oct 21 e)

Performance DatesRigoletto 1925

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

28 Sep, 19.30 7 Oct, 14.00

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

21 Oct, 19.30

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