Opera Scotland

Pagliacci 1922British National Opera Company

Read more about the opera Pagliacci

Of the two performances of Pagliacci one per tour, the first, in March, was coupled, as usual, with Cavalleria Rusticana.  The second evening in November was more unusual - a pairing with Bizet's Prodigal Son.  This was an experiment which did not last.


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:

'In I Pagliacci, there was a particularly good cast.  Mr William Boland's Canio was really superb in its convincing passion, intense,  but never exaggerated.  Recollection of most of the performances of Leoncavallo's opera which have taken place in Edinburgh does not supply an instance of as fine a Tonio as that of Mr Augustus Milner yesterday.  From the beginning of the Prologue, magnificently sung, on to the culmination of the tragedy, it was a study of a type of human nature, which was arresting in its psychological truth.

'Nedda, the poor victim of jealousy and ill-usage was portrayed with the pathetic gaiety of which Miss Mignon Nevada is so accomplished an exponent,  and the Silvio of Mr Raymond Ellis and the Beppe of Mr Sydney Russell were both good.  Alike in Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci, chorus and orchestra were always satisfactory.  Mr Herbert Withers conducted Cavalleria Rusticana, and Mr Aylmer Buesst I Pagliacci.


A Glasgow Opinion

The Glasgow Herald of Monday, 13 November (p7) reviewed both Saturday sessions - Bohème in the afternoon and an evening double bill of Prodigal Son (Debussy) and Pagliacci:

'With Pagliacci the audience were on familiar ground.  A great performance was practically assured by the names in the cast, and the high expectations were fulfilled.  Mr Frank Mullings had a very cordial welcoming on making his first appearance in Glasgow with the National Company.  His Canio was once more a memorable performance by its almost overwhelming dramatic strength and the passionate intensity that pulsated through the music as he sang it.

'The Tonio of Mr Robert Parker, too, was hardly less impressive.  He made the character grip from the moment he began the Prologue, for the delivery of which he had many recalls.  Miss Beatrice Miranda's voice and style were fully equal to the exacting demands the composer makes on Nedda, with the result that that character kept her place in the dramatic picture.

'Mr Raymond Ellis was more than efficient as Silvio, and Mr Kenneth Sterne gave a fine rendering of Beppo's serenade at the window of the little theatre.

'Mr Leslie Heward conducted, and, although occasionally the chorus entries were a little ragged, he handled the orchestra with considerable skill.'


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

Tonio a player

Robert Parker (Nov 11 e)

Augustus Milner (Mar 8 m)

Canio leader of the players

William Boland (Mar 8 m)

Frank Mullings (Nov 11 e)

Nedda Canio's wife

Mignon Nevada (Mar 8 m)

Beatrice Miranda (Nov 11 e)

Beppe a player

Sydney Russell (Mar 8 m)

Kenneth Sterne (Nov 11 e)

Silvio a villager

Raymond Ellis (Mar 8 m; Nov 11 e)

Performance DatesPagliacci 1922

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

8 Mar, 14.00

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

11 Nov, 19.30

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