Opera Scotland

Bohème 1956Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Bohème

The Glasgow Perspective

The Glasgow performance was reviewed in the Glasgow Herald (17 May).

The reviewer commented "Hamish Wilson's sets framed a production which again reflected the improvement in the company and, without scaling any great heights, maintained a fair standard of performance, though there were loosenesses stemming mainly from the orchestra pit, when the playing was generally rough rather than ready.

Charles Craig (pictured) as Rudolf was the most convincing and musically the most satisfying of the Bohemians, warming powerfully to his task after a rather tired start.  Joyce Goodwin made a vivacious Musetta, and Estelle Valery an appealing Mimi, though she was not always completely in sight of the part.

Basil Hemming's appearances provided effective character studies of the landlord Benoit and the absurd Councillor of State, Alcindoro."



Advertisement indicates that the cast contained Pauline Allen and Evan Thomas, without specifying roles. Evan Thomas went on to play Schaunard in 1957, so it is reasonable to give him the same part here.


The Carl Rosa Opera Company in Scotland - 1956

Unusually, the tour elements were split many months apart, with Glasgow in May and Dundee October.

The eleven operas toured during the season were by Mozart (Don Giovanni);  Rossini (Barber of Seville); Wagner (Tannhäuser);  Verdi (Rigoletto,  Trovatore);  Gounod (Faust);  Offenbach (Tales of Hoffmann);  Leoncavallo (Pagliacci);  Puccini (Manon Lescaut,  Bohème);  Mascagni (Cavalleria Rusticana).

A comparison with the previous 1955 touring repertoire shows that in order to add the rare Manon Lescaut the far more popular Carmen was dropped.  It is noticeable that Tannhäuser is not taken to Dundee in either year, though it was played there often enough in the early decades of the century.

The full Scottish tour schedule was:

Glasgow, w/c 7 May:  Mon 7 Cav & Pag;  Tue 8 Don Giovanni;  Wed 9 Tales of Hoffmann;  Thu 10 Manon Lescaut;  Fri 11 Barber of Seville;  Sat 12 mat Don Giovanni;  Sat 12 eve Rigoletto.

Glasgow, w/c 14 May;  Mon 14 Faust;  Tue 15 Tannhäuser;  Wed 16 Bohème;  Thu 17 Barber of Seville;  Fri 18 Manon Lescaut;  Sat 19 mat Cav & Pag;  Sat 19 eve Trovatore.

Dundee, w/c 22 October:  Mon 22 Faust;  Tue 23  Barber of Seville;  Wed 24 Cav & Pag;  Thu 25 Don Giovanni;  Fri 26 Manon Lescaut;  Sat 27 mat Bohème;  Sat 27 eve Tales of Hoffmann

Performance Cast

Rodolfo a poet

Charles Craig (May 16)

Schaunard a musician

Evan Thomas (Oct 27 m)

Benoit the students' landlord

Basil Hemming (May 16)

Mimì a seamstress

Estelle Valery (May 16)

Musetta a grisette

Pauline Allen (Oct 27 m)

Joyce Goodwin (May 16)

Alcindoro a wealthy follower of Musetta

Basil Hemming (May 16)

Performance DatesBohème 1956

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

16 May, 19.15

Gaumont Theatre | Dundee

27 Oct, 14.00

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