Opera Scotland

Bohème 1953Iskoldoff Italian Opera Company

Read more about the opera Bohème

Eugene Iskoldoff had mounted a London season at the Stoll Theatre in 1952, and would do so for several more seasons. Standards were variable, with plenty of criticism for the lack of rehearsal and of basic quality in the orchestra and chorus. The off-the-peg sets and costumes also varied in their effectiveness. However some of the singing was excellent, with the 1952 casts including the young Magda Olivero, Tito Gobbi and Carlo Bergonzi.

This first Scottish tour consisted of four weeks - two in Glasgow and one each in Edinburgh and Aberdeen. commencing Monday, 9 November 1953. The schedule included two popular favourites by Verdi (Rigoletto and Traviata), paired with two by Puccini (Bohème and Tosca). They were performed as follows:

First Week (comm 9 Nov): Mon Traviata; Tue Rigoletto; Wed mat Traviata; Wed eve Tosca; Thu Bohème; Fri Rigoletto; Sat mat Bohème; Sat eve Tosca.

Second Week (comm 16 Nov: Mon Rigoletto; Tue Traviata; Wed mat Rigoletto; Wed eve Tosca; Thu Bohème; Fri Tosca; Sat mat Traviata; Sat eve Bohème.

Third week (comm 23 Nov): Mon Traviata; Tue Tosca; Wed mat Traviata; Wed eve Rigoletto; Thu Bohème; Fri Tosca; Sat mat Rigoletto; Sat eve Bohème.

Fourth week (comm 30 Nov): Mon Traviata; Tue Tosca; Wed mat Traviata;  Wed eve Rigoletto; Thu Bohème; Fri Tosca; Sat mat Rigoletto; Sat eve Bohème.

Cast details for Bohème are from a programme for Thursday, 3 December, in Aberdeen City Library. The leading couple, Virginia Zeani and Gianni Raimondi, had distinguished careers. She was noted to be a highly talented singing actress, while he had a long and successful career in Italy, including many appearances at La Scala.

Performance Cast

Rodolfo a poet

Gianni Raimondi

Marcello a painter

Guido Pasella

Colline a philosopher

Gino Calo

Schaunard a musician

Gilberto Fogli

Benoit the students' landlord

Cesare Masini Sperti

Mimì a seamstress

Virginia Zeani

Parpignol a toy vendor

Giuseppe Masola

Musetta a grisette

Renata Broilo

Alcindoro a wealthy follower of Musetta

Cesare Masini Sperti

Performance DatesBohème 1953

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

12 Nov, 19.30 14 Nov, 14.30 19 Nov, 19.30 21 Nov, 19.30

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

26 Nov, 19.30 28 Nov, 19.30

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

3 Dec, 19.30 5 Dec, 19.30

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