Opera Scotland

Goldsmith of Toledo 1922British National Opera Company

Read more about the opera Goldsmith of Toledo

The British National Opera Company gave its first performance in Bradford on 6 February 1922, opening with Aïda. The company's directors had all been associated with Sir Thomas Beecham's company which had gone into liquidation in December 1920. These leaders included the soprano Agnes Nicholls, tenor Walter Hyde and basses Robert Radford and Norman Allin with the conductor Aylmer Buesst. The Musical Director was Percy Pitt. They were able to take over the former Beecham company's sets and costumes, generally quite lavish, which allowed them immediately to stage works like Aïda, Parsifal and the Ring which would otherwise have been beyond their resources.


BNOC's first Edinburgh season, lasting three weeks, followed quickly on 6 March, also with Aïda. It may seem enterprising that they should include a piece only premiered in 1919 in Germany. With Offenbach's Tales of Hoffmann having achieved a high level of popularity in Britain during the previous decade, it is hardly surprising that a follow-up should have been sought by the BNOC management.

The Goldsmith was a piece recently premiered in Mannheim, matching another of Hoffmann's tales to an assemblage of music from the composer's multitude of ephemeral and less popular works. The concoction by Stern and Zamara received its British premiere in Edinburgh before going on tour. It reached Covent Garden a few weeks later, on 4 May, but does not seem to have gone much further.

Cast details are from a review in The Scotsman of Saturday, 25 March.

Performance DatesGoldsmith of Toledo 1922

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

16 Mar, 19.00 24 Mar, 19.00

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