Opera Scotland

Tannhäuser 1922British National Opera Company

Read more about the opera Tannhäuser

The first appearance of the British National Opera Company in Scotland began with the hugely popular Aïda.  On the Tuesday the BNOC performed Parsifal, a very interesting rarity.  The following evening they stayed with Wagner in far more familiar vein, but even Tannhäuser was only given a single performance on this tour.  The Wednesday matinee was an even more popular programme, in Cav & Pag.


An Edinburgh Notice

The Scotsman of Thursday, 9 March reviewed both the previous day's shows - Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci in the afternoon, with Tannhäuser following in the evening:

'The cast of Tannhäuser at the evening performance included Mr Arthur Jordan as Tannhäuser, Miss Beatrice Miranda as Elizabeth, Mr Norman Allin as the Landgrave, Mr Powell Edwards as Wolfram, and Miss Gladys Ancrum as Venus.  Messrs Sydney Russell, Albert Chapman, Ernest Howie, and Frank Le Pla were the other minstrels;  and Miss Lilian Stanford made an engaging shepherd-boy;  singing the difficult music assigned to the character with an enjoyable, and it might be said unusual, correctness of intonation.

''Mr Jordan was a newcomer in the character of Tannhäuser,  It was a fine interpretation in every way, and Mr Norman Allin's Landgrave was equally good.  The Elizabeth of Miss Beatrice Miranda and the Venus of Miss Gladys Ancrum are both well known in Edinburgh.  Last night they were as delightful as ever; while the Wolfram of Mr Powell Edwards was very effective.

'Chorus and orchestra did well, and special praise is due to the ballet in the Venusberg scene.  As a picture this was a magnifiecnt scene, and the pas seul of Miss Penelope Spencer was thoroughly in character.  Mr Julius Harrison conducted, and under his direction the opera as a whole was given with an exhilarating realisation of its varying moods.'  


BNOC in Scotland - 1922 (Spring and Autumn)

This first season saw BNOC coming to Scotland twice. The spring visit, in March, consisted of three weeks in Edinburgh (King's Theatre).  In the autumn there were four weeks - two at Glasgow Theatre Royal, and two more in Edinburgh.

A total number of nineteen operas were included  - an astonishing number for a newly established company.  Wagner far outweighs any other composers, most notably Verdi:

They were by Mozart (Magic Flute);  Wagner (Tannhäuser,  Tristan and Isolde,   MastersingersValkyrieSiegfriedParsifal); Verdi (Aïda); Saint-Saêns (Samson and Delilah); Gounod (Faust); Offenbach (Goldsmith of Toledo);  Bizet (Carmen); Leoncavallo (Pagliacci); Puccini (BohèmeToscaMadam Butterfly); Debussy (Prodigal Son);  Mascagni (Cavalleria Rusticana); Charpentier (Louise).

The schedule was as follows:


Edinburgh, w/c 6 March:  Mon 6 Aida;  Tue 7 Parsifal;  Wed 8 mat Cav & Pag;  Wed 8 eve Tannhäuser; Thu 9 Carmen;  Fri 10 Samson and Delilah;  Sat 11 mat Madam Butterfly;  Sat 11 eve Faust.

Edinburgh, w/c 13 March:  Mon 13 Mastersingers;  Tue 14 Magic Flute;  Wed 15 mat Samson and Delilah;  Wed 15 eve Carmen; Thu 16 Goldsmith of Toledo;  Fri 17 Madam Butterfly;  Sat 18 mat Bohème;  Sat 18 eve Aïda.

Edinburgh, w/c 20 March:  Mon 20 Parsifal;  Tue 21 Samson and Delilah;  Wed 22 mat Parsifal;  Wed 22 eve Bohème; Thu 23 Mastersingers;  Fri 24 Goldsmith of Toledo;  Sat 25 mat Aïda;  Sat 25 eve Carmen.


Glasgow, w/c 6 November:  Mon 6 Parsifal;  Tue 7 Magic Flute;  Wed 8 mat Tosca;  Wed 8 eve Faust;  Thu 9 Louise;  Fri 10 Samson and Delilah;  Sat 11 mat Bohème;  Sat 11 eve Prodigal Son & Pagliacci.

Glasgow, w/c 13 November:  Mon 13 Aïda;  Tue 14 Goldsmith of Toledo;  Wed 15 mat Parsifal;  Wed 15 eve Magic Flute; Thu 16 Mastersingers;  Fri 17 Louise;  Sat 18 mat Madam Butterfly;  Sat 18 eve Faust.

Edinburgh, w/c 20 November:  Mon 20 Magic Flute;  Tue 21 Valkyrie;  Wed 22 mat Bohème;  Wed 22 eve Samson and Delilah; Thu 23 Aïda;  Fri 24 Louise;  Sat 25 mat Faust;  Sat 25 eve Tosca.

Edinburgh, w/c 27 November:  Mon 27 Siegfried;  Tue 28 Tristan and Isolde;  Wed 29 mat Magic Flute;  Wed 29 eve Goldsmith of Toledo; Thu 30 Louise;  Fri 1 Dec Bohème;  Sat 2 mat Parsifal;  Sat 2 eve Samson and Delilah.

Performance Cast


Gladys Ancrum (Mar 8 e)

Tannhäuser a knight and minnesinger

Arthur Jordan (Mar 8 e)

Shepherd boy

Lilian Stanford (Mar 8 e)

Wolfram von Eschenbach a knight and minnesinger

Powell Edwards (Mar 8 e)

Hermann Landgrave of Thuringia

Norman Allin (Mar 8 e)

Walther von der Vogelweide a knight and minnesinger

Sydney Russell (Mar 8 e)

Heinrich der Schreiber a knight and minnesinger

Ernest Howie (Mar 8 e)

Biterolf a knight and minnesinger

Albert Chapman (Mar 8 e)

Reinmar von Zweter a knight and minnesinger

Frank Le Pla (Mar 8 e)

Elisabeth niece of the Landgrave

Beatrice Miranda (Mar 8 e)

Performance DatesTannhäuser 1922

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

8 Mar, 14.00 8 Mar, 19.00

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