Opera Scotland

British National Opera Company

The BNOC was established in 1922 as the result of the Beecham Opera Company going into liquidation in December 1920.  Leading performers of the day moved from that previous operator and became directors pf BNOC.  These included the conductors Percy Pitt and Aylmer Buesst, soprano Agnes Nicholls,  and tenor Walter Hyde with basses Robert Radford and Norman Allin.  Operations were able to start with a wide and large-scale repertoire as the result of lavish sets and costumes from Sir Thomas Beecham's company also passing to the new set-up. 

Initially Percy Pitt was the company's artistic director,  succeeded in 1924 by the Wagnerian baritone Frederic Austin, when Pitt moved to the BBC.  The first season opened at the Alhambra Theatre, Bradford on  6 February 1922, beginning with Aïda,

On 6 March the company moved to Scotland, opening a three-week season in Edinburgh.  In the autumn Glasgow was added to the schedule.  Visits to the central belt continued until 1927 when Dundee and Aberdeen also received visits.  By 1928, with the great economic depression under way, the company still visited three of those cities. The Dundee King's had become a cinema, so was not available.

In its early seasons BNOC's London visits were played at Covent Garden, but in 1924 that house began its international seasons, so BNOC transferred to His Majesty's in the Haymarket.  It was, however, like Carl Rosa, an organisation thet toured extensively in the provinces.

While the mainstay of the company's repertoire remained the popular works of Wagner, Verdi and Puccini, several unfamiliar pieces by British composers were introduced.  These included operas by Ralph Vaughan Williams (Hugh the Drover);  Gustav Holst (Savitri,  The Perfect FoolAt the Boar's Head);  Dame Ethel Smyth  (The Boatswain's Mate, Fête Galante);  Rutland Boughton (Alkestis);  Sir Alexander Mackenzie (The Eve of St John); and  Ernest Bryson (The Leper's Flute);    ,  

BNOC's serious financial difficulties in 1928 included an accumulated deficit of £5000.  Despite the fact that during its last year it had contributed Entertainment Tax of £17000 to the government's coffers, the company ceased operations,  Its productiion sets and costumes were taken over by the Covent Garden Opera Company, which was able to return to Scotland very quickly in 1929.

Aïda
1922 - Aïda
1923 - Aïda
1924 - Aïda
1925 - Aïda
1926 - Aïda
1927 - Aïda
1928 - Aïda
Alkestis
1924 - Alkestis
At the Boar's Head
1925 - At the Boar's Head
Barber of Seville
1927 - Barbiere di Siviglia
1928 - Barbiere di Siviglia
Boatswain's Mate
1923 - Boatswain's Mate
Bohème
1922 - Bohème
1923 - Bohème
1924 - Bohème
1925 - Bohème
1926 - Bohème
1927 - Bohème
1928 - Bohème
Carmen
1922 - Carmen
1923 - Carmen
1924 - Carmen
1925 - Carmen
1926 - Carmen
1927 - Carmen
1928 - Carmen
Cavalleria Rusticana
1922 - Cavalleria Rusticana
1923 - Cavalleria Rusticana
1925 - Cavalleria Rusticana
1928 - Cavalleria Rusticana
Coffee Cantata
1925 - Coffee Cantata
Enfant Prodigue
1922 - Enfant Prodigue
Eve of St John
1924 - Eve of St John
Falstaff
1928 - Falstaff
Faust
1922 - Faust
1923 - Faust
1924 - Faust
1926 - Faust
1928 - Faust
Fête Galante
1923 - Fête Galante
Gianni Schicchi
1923 - Gianni Schicchi
1924 - Gianni Schicchi
1925 - Gianni Schicchi
1926 - Gianni Schicchi
1927 - Gianni Schicchi
Golden Cockerel
1924 - Golden Cockerel
1925 - Golden Cockerel
Goldsmith of Toledo
1922 - Goldsmith of Toledo
Hansel and Gretel
1923 - Hansel and Gretel
1926 - Hansel and Gretel
Hugh the Drover
1924 - Hugh the Drover
1925 - Hugh the Drover
1926 - Hugh the Drover
Leper's Flute
1926 - Leper's Flute
Lohengrin
1928 - Lohengrin
Louise
1922 - Louise
1923 - Louise
Madama Butterfly
1922 - Madam Butterfly
1923 - Madam Butterfly
1924 - Madam Butterfly
1925 - Madam Butterfly
1926 - Madam Butterfly
1926 - Madam Butterfly
1927 - Madam Butterfly
1928 - Madam Butterfly
Magic Flute
1922 - Zauberflöte
1923 - Zauberflöte
1924 - Zauberflöte
1925 - Zauberflöte
1927 - Zauberflöte
1928 - Zauberflöte
Manon
1927 - Manon
1928 - Manon
Marriage of Figaro
1923 - Nozze di Figaro
1924 - Nozze di Figaro
1926 - Nozze di Figaro
1927 - Nozze di Figaro
Meistersinger von Nürnberg
1922 - Mastersingers of Nuremberg
1923 - Mastersingers of Nuremberg
1924 - Mastersingers of Nuremberg
1925 - Mastersingers of Nuremberg
1926 - Mastersingers of Nuremberg
1927 - Mastersingers of Nuremberg
1928 - Mastersingers of Nuremberg
Otello
1923 - Otello
1925 - Otello
1926 - Otello
Pagliacci
1922 - Pagliacci
1923 - Pagliacci
1924 - Pagliacci
1925 - Pagliacci
1926 - Pagliacci
1927 - Pagliacci
1928 - Pagliacci
Parsifal
1922 - Parsifal
1926 - Parsifal
Pelléas et Mélisande
1923 - Pelléas and Mélisande
1924 - Pelléas and Mélisande
Perfect Fool
1923 - Perfect Fool
1924 - Perfect Fool
Phoebus and Pan
1923 - Phoebus and Pan
Rhinegold
1923 - Rheingold
Rigoletto
1925 - Rigoletto
1926 - Rigoletto
Roméo et Juliette
1926 - Romeo and Juliet
Samson et Dalila
1922 - Samson and Delilah
1923 - Samson and Delilah
1927 - Samson and Delilah
Savitri
1923 - Savitri
Seraglio
1923 - Entführung aus dem Serail
Siegfried
1922 - Siegfried
1923 - Siegfried
1924 - Siegfried
Tales of Hoffmann
1924 - Tales of Hoffmann
1925 - Tales of Hoffmann
1926 - Tales of Hoffmann
Tannhäuser
1922 - Tannhäuser
1923 - Tannhäuser
1924 - Tannhäuser
1925 - Tannhäuser
1926 - Tannhäuser
1927 - Tannhäuser
1928 - Tannhäuser
Tosca
1922 - Tosca
1923 - Tosca
1925 - Tosca
1926 - Tosca
Tristan and Isolde
1922 - Tristan und Isolde
1925 - Tristan und Isolde
1926 - Tristan und Isolde
Trovatore
1923 - Trovatore
1928 - Trovatore
Twilight of the Gods
1923 - Götterdämmerung
1927 - Götterdämmerung
Walküre
1922 - Valkyrie
1923 - Valkyrie
1927 - Valkyrie

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