Opera Scotland

Beecham Grand Opera Company

Thomas Beecham's first venture into operatic management came in 1910, when he opened a London season at Her Majesty's Theatre with his English Opera Comique company.

In 1913 he took over the productions of the defunct Denhof Company, followed by those of the Quinlan Company. On the outbreak of war in 1914 the scenery of several Russian operas staged by Diaghilev became available. These included Borodin (Prince Igor), Mussorgsky (Boris Godunov) and Rimsky-Korsakov (Ivan the Terrible, The Golden Cockerel).

He set up his own company on a small scale in 1915, with a substantial expansion the following year, presenting several Verdi and Wagner works as well as the rare Russian pieces. Touring continued successfully until December 1920 when a London season at Covent Garden lost heavily and the company was forced into liquidation. The British National Opera Company (BNOC), arose from the ruins, with several of the leading singers and conductors in control. This continued to operate for most of the next decade.

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