Opera Scotland

Carmen 1923British National Opera Company

Read more about the opera Carmen

Carmen received only two performances on the spring tour, one in each city.  And no performances at all in the autumn. 


The Edinburgh Review

The Scotsman of Saturday, 10 March (p8) reviewed the previous evening's performance:

'A new Carmen, Miss Leah Rusel-Myre, imparted an unusual interest to last night's performance of Bizet's opera by the National Opera Company.  Miss Rusel-Myre's reading of the part is very interesting, as it approximates more closely to the presentation of the character by Mérimée than is commonly the case.  From the outset it is coloured more or less by the scene of impending tragedy   Dramatically, it is a powerful and arresting study, while in its musical aspects it has all the charm to be expected from the young artist who made so excellent an impression in various rôles on the occasion of the National Opera's visit to Edinburgh a few months ago.

'Miss Rusel-Myre was ably supported by Mr Walter Hyde as Don José, one of the best performances vocally or dramatically which he has given in Edinburgh; and by Mr Herbert Langley as Escamillo.

'The other members of a fine cast were Miss Gertrude Johnson as Micaëla, a delightful impersonation; the Misses Doris Lemon and May Blyth as Frasquita and Mercedes; Mr Raymond Ellis and Mr Sydney Russell as Remendado and Dancairo, Mr Raymond Ellis also appearing as Morales, and Mr Philip Bertram as Zuniga.

'As a whole, the rendering of the opera, which was conducted by Mr Percy Pitt, was marked by a vivacity and significance much above the average.  The various familiar solo numbers were all admirable, and there was an exhilarating freshness, in particular, in Mr Langley's delivery of the ''Toreador'' song.  The chorus was always good, and the ballet called for nothing but praise, the pas seul in the fourth act, by Miss Eily Gerald, the principal dancer, being very graceful.

'Altogether it was the best performance of Carmen to be given in Edinburgh for some years.'


BNOC in Scotland - 1923 (Spring & Autumn)

The company's Spring visit lasted five weeks - two in Edinburgh (King's Theatre) and three in Glasgow (at the Coliseum, as the Theatre Royal was not available).

Returning in the autumn, the visit again lasted five weeks - four in Glasgow (this time at the Theatre Royal) and one in Edinburgh (King's Theatre).


The 29 operas performed were Bach (Phoebus and Pan);  Mozart (Seraglio,  Marriage of Figaro,  Magic Flute);  Wagner (Tannhäuser,  Mastersingers,  Rhinegold,  Valkyrie,  Siegfried,  Twilight of the Gods);  Verdi (TrovatoreAïda Otello);  Gounod (Faust);  Bizet (Carmen);  Saint-Saëns (Samson and Delilah);  Leoncavallo (Pagliacci);  Puccini (Bohème,  Tosca,  Madam Butterfly,  Gianni Schicchi);  Mascagni (Cavalleria Rusticana);  Humperdinck (Hansel and Gretel);  Debussy (Pelléas and Mélisande);  Charpentier (Louise);  Smyth (Boatswain's Mate,  Fête Galante);  Holst (Savitri,  Perfect Fool).

The schedule was as follows:


Edinburgh, w/c 5 March:  Mon 5 Samson and Delilah;  Tue 6 Marriage of Figaro;  Wed 7 mat Hansel and Gretel;  Wed 7 eve Aïda; Thu 8 Madam Butterfly;  Fri 9 Carmen;  Sat 10 mat Phoebus and Pan & Pagliacci;  Sat 10 eve Trovatore.

Edinburgh, w/c 12 March:  Mon 12 Seraglio;  Tue 13 Tannhäuser;  Wed 14 mat Marriage of Figaro;  Wed 14 eve Hansel and Gretel;  Thu 15 Magic Flute;  Fri 16 Mastersingers;  Sat 17 mat Bohème;  Sat 17 eve Faust.

Glasgow, w/c 19 March:  Mon 19 Rhinegold;  Tue 20 Valkyrie;  Wed 21 mat Hansel and Gretel;  Wed 21 eve Phoebus and Pan & Pagliacci;  Thu 22 Madam Butterfly;  Fri 23 Marriage of Figaro;  Sat 24 mat Magic Flute;  Sat 24 eve Trovatore.

Glasgow, w/c 26 March:  Mon 26 Seraglio;  Tue 27 Siegfried;  Wed 28 mat Samson and Delilah;  Wed 28 eve Louise;  Thu 29 Phoebus and Pan & Pagliacci;  Fri 30 Hansel and Gretel;  Sat 31 mat Marriage of Figaro;  Sat 31 eve Madam Butterfly.

Glasgow, w/c 2 April:  Mon 2 Carmen;  Tue 3 Mastersingers;  Wed 4 mat Bohème;  Wed 4 eve Samson and Delilah;  Thu 5 Magic Flute;  Fri 6 Twilight of the Gods; Sat 7 mat Hansel and Gretel;  Sat 7 eve Aïda.


Glasgow, w/c 29 October:  Mon 29 Magic Flute;  Tue 30 Samson and Delilah;  Wed 31 mat Phoebus and Pan & Pagliacci;  Wed 31 eve Bohème;  Thu 1 Nov Aïda;  Fri 2 Valkyrie;  Sat 3 mat Hansel and Gretel;  Sat 3 eve Madam Butterfly.

Glasgow, w/c 5 November:  Mon 5 Savitri Perfect Fool;  Tue 6 Louise;  Wed 7 mat Madam Butterfly;  Wed 7 eve Cavalleria Rusticana & Gianni Schicchi;  Thu 8 Siegfried;  Fri 9 Otello;  Sat 10 mat Magic Flute;  Sat 10 e Faust.

Glasgow, w/c 12 November:  Mon 12 Aïda;  Tue 13 Mastersingers;  Wed 14 mat Samson and Delilah;  Wed 14 eve Savitri & Perfect Fool;  Thu 15 Tosca;  Fri 16 Bohème;  Sat 17 mat Fête Galante & Bosun's Mate;  Sat 17 eve Phoebus and Pan & Gianni Schicchi.

Glasgow, w/c 19 November:  Mon 19 Faust;  Tue 20 Otello;  Wed 21 mat Hansel and Gretel;  Wed 21 eve Aïda;  Thu 22 Pelléas and Mélisande;  Fri 23 Fête Galante & Boatswain's Mate;  Sat 24 mat Cav & Pag;  Sat 24 eve Magic Flute.

Edinburgh, w/c 26 November:  Mon 26 Aïda;  Tue 27 Louise;  Wed 28 mat Fête Galante & Boatswain's Mate;  Wed 28 eve Phoebus and Pan & Gianni Schicchi;  Thu 29 Pelléas and Mélisande;  Fri 30 Savitri & Perfect Fool;  Sat 31 mat Magic Flute;  Sat 31 eve Madam Butterfly.

Performance Cast

Moralès a corporal of dragoons

Raymond Ellis (Mar 9)

Micaëla a peasant girl

Gertrude Johnson (Mar 9)

Don José a corporal of dragoons

Walter Hyde (Mar 9)

Zuniga a lieutenant of dragoons

Philip Bertram (Mar 9)

Carmen a gypsy

Leah Rusel-Myre (Mar 9)

Frasquita a gypsy, Carmen’s friend

Doris Lemon (Mar 9)

Mercédès a gypsy, Carmen’s friend

May Blyth (Mar 9)

Escamillo a toreador

Herbert Langley (Mar 9)

Dancaïre a smuggler

Raymond Ellis (Mar 9)

Remendado a smuggler

Sydney Russell (Mar 9)

Performance DatesCarmen 1923

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

9 Mar, 19.00

Coliseum | Glasgow

2 Apr, 18.45

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