Opera Scotland

Belle Hélène 1968Sadler's Wells Opera

Read more about the opera Belle Hélène

Following tours in 1963, 1965 and 1967, this was the final visit of the extremely popular Offenbach staging by Basil Coleman. Designed for the smaller Sadler's Wells theatre, it did not long survive the move to the Coliseum, achieved by the Sadler's Wells company in August.

Joan Davies was always excellent at operetta. With Derek Hammond Stroud, Denis Dowling and John Fryatt still on board, the dry comedy was in safe hands. John Brecknock's career was rooted in the high-lying lyric tenor repertoire, and Offenbach suited him just as well as Rossini - his projection of words was always wonderfully clear.

This was the only established production to come to Glasgow during the three week stay. The recent stagings of The Italian Girl in Algiers, Die Fledermaus and Rigoletto were to be revived in London for a number of seasons. The new and highly controversial Don Giovanni, that had launched the Coliseum regime, would never be seen again.


Sadler's Wells Opera in Scotland - 1968

Only one Scottish venue for this three week visit - the King's Theatre in Glasgow.

The operas were Mozart (Don Giovanni);  Rossini (Italian Girl in Algiers);  Verdi (Rigoletto);  Offenbach (Belle Hélène); J Strauss (Fledermaus).

The performance schedule was:

Week One, w/c Mon 11 Nov:  Tue 12 Italian Girl;  Wed 13 Belle Hélène;  Thu 14 Don Giovann;  Fri 15 Italian Girl;  Sat 16 Belle Hélène.

Week Two, w/c Mon 18 Nov:  Mon 18 Fledermaus;  Tue 19 Rigoletto; Wed 20 Don Giovanni;  Thu 21 Italian Girl;  Fri 22 Fledermaus.

Week Three, w/c Mon 25 Nov;  Mon 25 Rigoletto;  Tue 26 Fledermaus;  Wed 27 Belle Hélène;  Thu 28 Rigoletto;  Fri 29 Don Giovanni;  Sat 30 Fledermaus.

Performance Cast

Calchas High Priest of Jupiter

Derek Hammond Stroud

Philocomus Chaplain to Calchas

Gomer Morris

Euthycles a blacksmith

Ian Macpherson

Hélène Queen of Sparta

Joan Davies

Oreste son of Agamemnon

Mary Gilmore

Paris son of King Priam

John Brecknock

Ajax I King of Salamis

John Kitchiner

Ajax II King of the Locrians

Louis Browne

Achille King of Phtiotidos

Neil Easton

Ménélas King of Sparta

John Fryatt

Agamemnon King of Kings

Denis Dowling

Daphne Helen's maid

Dorothy Nash

Chloé a woman of the town

Tonia Ladyman

Jocanthis a woman of the town

Phyllis Ball

Anthea a woman of the town

Elizabeth Howarth

Phantis a woman of the town

Daphne Gill

Performance DatesBelle Hélène 1968

Map List

King's Theatre, Glasgow | Glasgow

13 Nov, 19.00 16 Nov, 19.00 27 Nov, 19.00

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