Opera Scotland

Cavalleria Rusticana 1922British National Opera Company

Read more about the opera Cavalleria Rusticana

How odd that the BNOC, in its total of seven weeks in Scotland, should only give one performance of Cavalleria. It was followed by its usual partner, Pagliacci.  However the Leoncavallo was given a second performance, in a very strange pairing with Debussy's Prodigal Son.


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:

'From Parsifal of the previous evening the National Opera artists yesterday passed to three of the most familiar and popular works in the current operatic repertory - Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci, which were given in the afternoon, and Tannhäuser, which drew a crowded audience, at night.  The audience in the afternoon, as was to be expected, was not so large as that at the evening performance,  Nevertheless, for a week-day it was of dimensions which testified to the heartiness of the interest in the fortunes of the National Opera Company which is being displayed in Edinburgh.

'That there is such a general recognition of the importance of the present series of operatic performances at the King's Theatre is eminently satisfactory, for it cannot be ignored that the failure of the National Opera Company to establish itself would probably involve a long farewell to opera on a grand scale.  No individual enthusiast was forthcoming to take the place of Sir Thomas Beecham when circumstances compelled him to abandon his great enterprise, and the body of musicians who have taken over his task, once defeated, might well be excused for any reluctance to make a second attempt.  Operatic enterprise in this country is, in fact, just now at a somewhat critical point in its history, and it is for the music-loving public to see that its future is made secure.  Fortunately, all the indications, at least as regards the National Opera Company, are, so far, most encouraging, but continued and undiminished public support is absolutely essential.

'Yesterday's performances were all remarkably interesting.  Familiar as the three operas are, a new  point was given to them by the enjoyable completeness of their rendering.  The principals were good, and so was the chorus, while the orchestra, as has already been mentioned, is of excellent quality. With the various sections of the organisation so good, there is a mutual reaction which makes for a further advance in quality.  A fine environment, in fact, brings out hitherto latent excellences in the individual.

'In Cavalleria Rusticana, Miss Anna Lindsey, a singer new to what may be called, for convenience, the Beecham plane of opera, but a fine and experienced artist, made an admirable Santuzza.  The Turiddu was Mr Tudor Davies, a young tenor with a beautiful quality of voice, and a natural feeling for the dramatic, but with something still to learn in that mastery of significant detail which makes an impersonation convincing.

'Mr Frederic Collier made a good Alfio, the Lola of Miss Olive Townend was attractive, and the Lucia of that sterling artist, Miss Edith Clegg, had a delightful finish..........

'Mr Herbert Withers conducted Cavalleria Rusticana, and Mr Aylmer Buesst I Pagliacci.'


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

Santuzza a village girl

Anna Lindsey (Mar 8 m)

Mamma Lucia the innkeeper, Turiddu’s mother

Edith Clegg (Mar 8 m)

Alfio the village carter

Frederic Collier (Mar 8 m)

Turiddu a young soldier

Tudor Davies (Mar 8 m)

Lola Alfio’s wife

Olive Townend (Mar 8 m)

Performance DatesCavalleria Rusticana 1922

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

8 Mar, 14.00

© Copyright Opera Scotland 2024

Site by SiteBuddha