Opera Scotland

Pagliacci 1924British National Opera Company

Read more about the opera Pagliacci

 In Glasgow, the pairing of Gianni Schicchi with Pagliacci at a Saturday matinee at the end of the Scottish tour was clearly popular if less imaginative than Edinburgh's coupling of Schicchi with Holst's Perfect Fool.

If Walter Widdop was making his first appearance as Canio, the same cannot be said of Beatrice Miranda in the role of Nedda.  This is a part she had sung throughout her career, beginning in 1909, when she was a coloratura. Nowadays her repertoire was more likely to include Isolde and Brünnhilde, but singing Nedda from time to time would help to preserve the lyric aspects of her voice.


The Glasgow View

The Glasgow Herald of Monday, 24 November (p10) also had to provide space for the Saturday evening Tannhäuser, so has little space for comment:

'For their matinee performance in the Theatre Royal, Glasgow, on Saturday the British National Opera Company presented a double bill of modern Italian works.  Special interest attached to the production of Puccini's one-act opera, Gianni Schicchi.  It had its English premiere in Glasgow during the company's visit last year, and created a very favourable impression, which was confirmed by the performance on Saturday afternoon...........

'The opera was followed by Pagliacci, with Miss Beatrice Miranda as Nedda, Mr Walter Widdop as Canio, Mr Robert Parker as the clown, Mr Raymond Ellis as Silvio and Mr Parry Jones as Beppo.  The performance was in all respects on a very high level, and Mr Widdop, who was making his Glasgow debut as Canio, achieved a great success both vocally and as an actor.  From the latter point of view his performance was the best he has given here.

'The closing scene was well worked up on the part of chorus and principals to an impressive finish, and acknowledgment is due of the thoroughness and artistic rightness of the stage ''production.'' Apart from occasional moments in Pagliacci when he was at variance with the principals, Mr Malcolm Sargent conducted bot operas in excellent style.'


BNOC's 1924 Scottish tour

The BNOC tour of Scotland in 1924 lasted five weeks - two in Edinburgh (King's) then three in Glasgow (Theatre Royal).

Amazingly, four operas by British composers were toured, as well as four French, though only one by Verdi.  As usual, Wagner and Puccini seem to enjoy undying popularity.  One Russian piece also puts in an appearance.

A total of 19 works were performed:

Mozart (Marriage of Figaro,  Magic Flute);   Wagner (Tannhäuser,  MastersingersSiegfried);  Verdi (Aïda);  Gounod (Faust);  Offenbach (Tales of Hoffmann);  Bizet (Carmen);  Rimsky-Korsakov (Golden Cockerel);  Leoncavallo (Pagliacci);   Puccini (BohèmeMadam ButterflyGianni Schicchi);  Debussy (Pelléas and Mélisande);  Mackenzie (Eve of St John);  Vaughan Williams (Hugh the Drover);  Holst (Perfect Fool);  Boughton (Alkestis).

The performance schedule is as follows:

Edinburgh,  w/c 27 October:  Mon 27 Marriage of Figaro;  Tue 28 Carmen;  Wed 29 mat Madam Butterfly;  Wed 29 eve Hugh the Drover:  Thu 30 Perfect Fool & Gianni Schicchi;  Fri 31 Siegfried;  Sat 01 mat  Marriage of Figaro;  Sat 01 eve Tales of Hoffmann.

Edinburgh, w/c 3 November:  Mon 03 Golden Cockerel;  Tue 04 Pelléas et Mélisande;  Wed 05 mat  Magic Flute;  Wed 05 eve Tannhäuser;  Thu 06 Mastersingers;  Fri 07 Alkestis;  Sat 08 mat  Hugh the Drover;  Sat 08 eve  Aïda.

Glasgow, w/c 10 November:  Mon 10 Carmen;  Tue 11 Mastersingers;  Wed 12 mat Alkestis;  Wed 12 eve  Tales of Hoffmann;  Thu 13 Magic Flute;  Fri 14  Golden Cockerel;  Sat 15 mat Aïda;  Sat 15 eve Marriage of Figaro.

Glasgow, w/c 17 November:  Mon 17 Tales of Hoffmann;  Tue 18 Bohème;  Wed 19 mat  Magic Flute;  Med 19 eve  Aïda;  Thu 20 Eve of St John & Perfect Fool;  Fri 21 Hugh the Drover;  Sat 22 mat Gianni Schicchi  Pagliacci;  Sat 22 eve Tannhäuser.

Glasgow, w/c 24 November:  Mon 24 Marriage of Figaro;  Tue 25  Faust;  Wed 26 mat Golden Cockerel;  Wed 26 eve Magic Flute;  Thu 27 Hugh the Drover;  Fri 28  Carmen;  Sat 29 mat Madam Butterfly;  Sat 29 eve Mastersingers.

Performance Cast

Tonio a player

Robert Parker (Nov 22 m)

Canio leader of the players

Walter Widdop (Nov 22 m)

Nedda Canio's wife

Beatrice Miranda (Nov 22 m)

Beppe a player

Parry Jones (Nov 22 m)

Silvio a villager

Raymond Ellis (Nov 22 m)

Performance DatesPagliacci 1924

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

22 Nov, 14.00

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