Opera Scotland

Zauberflöte 1927British National Opera Company

Read more about the opera Magic Flute

This Magic Flute cast looks quite strong on paper, even if the singers were regular company members over a number of years.  Noël Eadie, here making her debut in the part, sang Queen of Night successfully, going on to perform it at Glyndebourne, Covent Garden and Chicago in the thirties.

While it is common enough to have the priests doubling as Armed Men, it is surely rather more unusual to have a soprano playing both First Lady and Papagena.

Cast details are taken from a programme for Saturday, 22 October (matinee) in the NLS collection in Edinburgh.  The review of the previous evening in the Scotsman on 13/10 gives a near complete cast (only Papagena omitted) and specifies a different conductor.

It is perhaps surprising, when the work receives five performances in all, that it should be omitted from the Dundee schedule.

 

The Edinburgh opinion

The Scotsman the next morning - Thursday, 13 October (p8) - devoted far more space to the two less common operas,  paying little attention to the frequently encountered Leoncavallo work.   It began:

'The British National Opera artists did a good day's work yesterday with Gianni Schicchi and I Pagliacci. in the afternoon and The Magic Flute at night.  It is very difficult to muster an audience for a mid-week matinee,  and yesterday afternoon's attempt was not particularly successful.  Except for the benefit of people who live in the country,  a Wednesday matinee is hardly worthwhile.  After yesterday's experience,  out-of-town opera-lovers should rally to the support of the British National Opera Company if they desire such matinees to be continued.  It was the more regrettable that the audience was not larger, for there were remarkably fine performances of the two operas.'

After an extensive review of Puccini and little about Leoncavallo, the reviewer turned to Mozart:

'Under the direction of Mr Aylmer Buesst, an enjoyably finished performance of The Magic Flute was given last night.  Mr Parry Jones as Tamino,  Miss Eda Bennie as Pamina, Miss Noel Eadie as the Queen of Night,  Mr William Anderson as Sarastro,  Mr Dennis Noble as Papageno, Mr Bernard Ross as the Hierophant,  Mr Sydney Russell as Monostatos,  the Misses Doris Lemon,  Marjorie Parry and Justine Griffiths as the Three Ladies, the Misses Gladys Leathwood,  Frances Frost and Ella Bailey as the Three Boys,  and Messrs Liddell Peddieson and Philip Bertram doubling the rôles of the two priests, and the two guards, were all excellent in their various ways.

'As a whole, it was a rendering of the great work in which there were no weak points.  Throughout, it moved with a fine impressiveness,  and the comedy of Papageno and Monostatos,  while genuinenly droll,  was never unduly obtrusive.  The serious portions of the opera were rendered with a becoming impressiveness,  and the simple dignity of the staging created just the right environment for the glorious music.'

 

BNOC in Scotland 1927

The 1927 Scottish tour included six weeks, two each in Glasgow (Theatre Royal) and Edinburgh (King's), and a further week each in Aberdeen (His Majesty's) and Dundee (King's) - the first time that BNOC went north of the central belt.

Fifteen operas were performed:

Mozart (Marriage of Figaro,  Magic Flute);  Rossini (Barber of Seville);  Wagner (Tannhäuser,  Mastersingers,  Valkyrie,  Twilight of the Gods);   Verdi  (Aïda);   Bizet (Carmen);  Saint-Saëns (Samson and Delilah);  Massenet (Manon);   Leoncavallo  (Pagliacci);   Puccini  (Bohème,  Madam Butterfly,  Gianni Schicchi).

The schedule was as follows:

Glasgow, w/c 26 September:  Mon 26  Barber of Seville;  Tue 27  Magic Flute;  Wed 28 mat  Bohème;  Wed 28 eve  Gianni Schicchi & Pagliacci:  Thu 29  Valkyrie;  Fri 30  Marriage of Figaro  Sat 01 mat  Madam Butterfly;  Sat 01 eve  Aïda.

Glasgow, w/c 03 October:  Mon 03  Carmen;  Tue 04  Manon;  Wed 05 mat  Marriage of Figaro;  Wed 05 eve  Barber of Seville;  Thu 06  Mastersingers;  Fri 07  Samson and Delilah;  Sat 08 mat  Magic Flute;  Sat 08 eve  Tannhäuser.

Edinburgh, w/c 10 October: Mon 10  Barber of Seville; Tue 11  Mastersingers;  Wed 12 mat  Gianni Schicchi & Pagliacci;  Wed 12 eve  Magic Flute;  Thu 13  Manon;  Fri 14  Marriage of Figaro;  Sat 15 mat  Bohème;  Sat 15 eve  Samson and Delilah.

Edinburgh, w/c  17 October:  Mon 17  Barber of Seville;  Tue 18  Twilight of the Gods;  Wed 19 mat Madam Butterfly;  Wed 19 eve  Tannhäuser;  Thu 20  Carmen;  Fri 21  Manon;  Sat 22 mat  Magic Flute;  Sat 22 eve  Aïda.

Aberdeen, w/c 24 October:  Mon 24  Barber of Seville;  Tue 25  Twilight of the Gods;  Wed 26 mat  Magic Flute;  Wed 26 eve Manon;  Thu 27 Mastersingers;  Fri 28  Marriage of Figaro;  Sat 29 mat  Madam Butterfly;  Sat 29 eve Aïda.

Dundee, w/c 31 October: Mon 31  Mastersingers;  Tue 01 Nov  Barber of Seville;  Wed 02 mat  Marriage of Figaro;  Wed 02 eve  Madam Butterfly;  Thu 03  Manon;  Fri 04  Valkyrie;  Sat 05 mat  Bohème;  Sat 05 eve  Aïda.

Performance Cast

Tamino a Prince

Parry Jones (Oct 12, 22 m)

First Lady in attendance on the Queen

Doris Lemon (Oct 12, 22 m)

Second Lady in attendance on the Queen

Marjorie Parry (Oct 12, 22 m)

Third Lady in attendance on the Queen

Justine Griffiths (Oct 12, 22 m)

Papageno a bird-catcher

William Michael (Oct 12, 22 m)

Queen of Night

Noël Eadie (Oct 12, 22 m)

Monostatos a servant in the Temple

Sydney Russell (Oct 12, 22 m)

Pamina daughter of the Queen of Night

Eda Bennie (Oct 12, 22 m)

First Boy

Gladys Leathwood (Oct 12, 22 m)

Second Boy

Frances Frost (Oct 12, 22 m)

Third Boy

Ella Bailey (Oct 12, 22 m)

Speaker at the Temple

Bernard Ross (Oct 12, 22 m)

Sarastro High Priest of Isis and Osiris

William Anderson (Oct 12, 22 m)

First Priest

Liddell Peddieson (Oct 21, 22 m)

Second Priest

Philip Bertram (Oct 12, 22 m)

Papagena disguised as an old woman

Doris Lemon (Oct 22 m)

First Armed Man

Liddell Peddieson (Oct 12, 22 m)

Second Armed Man

Philip Bertram (Oct 12, 22 m)

Performance DatesZauberflöte 1927

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

27 Sep, 19.30 8 Oct, 14.00

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

12 Oct, 19.30 22 Oct, 14.00

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

26 Oct, 14.00

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