Opera Scotland

Bohème 1954Carl Rosa Opera Company

Read more about the opera Bohème

The reviewer in the Glasgow Herald (10 Mar) said "La Bohème is so well known that it really needs an outstanding performance to stimulate one's enthusiasm, and last night's production was too uneven to come into this category. On the credit side there was much good singing from all the principals...and there were some effective touches in the production. Against these, however, must be weighed the indistinct diction and uninspired acting, an exception to this last being Edna Graham as Musetta. Also there was remarkably little co-operation between the singers and the orchestra, and, in the matter of balance, the latter was at times overwhelming. After a freak version of the National Anthem and some untidy playing in the first act, the orchestra, directed by Arthur Hammond, improved considerable in their blend and attack."

The Carl Rosa's six-week 1954 Scottish tour began on 8th March with a three week stay in Glasgow, always one of its favourite dates. This was followed by a week in Aberdeen, from 29th March, and two in Edinburgh from 5th April. The repertoire was much as before, as the company, with no public subsidy, needed to generate all its income from ticket sales and minimize risk. Operas performed during the tour were by Gounod (Faust); (Bizet (Carmen); Offenbach (Tales of Hoffmann); Wagner (Tannhäuser); Verdi (Trovatore, Traviata); Puccini (Bohème, Butterfly); Mascagni (Cavalleria Rusticana); Leoncavallo (Pagliacci).

The programme for the final Glasgow week was: Mon Cav & Pag; Tue Traviata; Wed Hoffmann; Thu Tannhäuser; Fri Faust; Sat mat Bohème; Sat eve Carmen. After Bohème at the Saturday matinee, it will have come as no surprise for regular Carl Rosa audience members to find Carmen in the evening, bringing the three week season to an end. Bohème was not performed in Aberdeen. A programme for the performance of 6 April can be found in the archive of Edinburgh City Library.

The final day of the season at Glasgow King's, this Saturday matinee has a typical cast for the company at the time, and was followed in the evening by another popular favourite in Carmen.

Carl Rosa Opera's six-week 1954 Scottish tour began on 8 March with a three week stay in Glasgow, always one of its favourite dates. This was followed by a week in Aberdeen (the last visit by the company), from 29 March, and two in Edinburgh from 5 April

The tour schedule was as follows:-

Glasgow w/c 8 Mar: Mon Tales of Hoffmann; Tue Bohème; Wed Barber of Seville; Thu Traviata; Fri Carmen; Sat m Butterfly; Sat e Cav & Pag.

Glasgow w/c 15 Mar: Mon Rigoletto; Tue Tales of Hoffmann; WEd Bohème; Thu Barber of Seville; Fri Traviata; Sat m Carmen; Sat e Butterfly.

Glasgow w/c 22 Mar: Mon Cav & Pag; Tue Traviata; Wed Tales of Hoffmann; Thu Tannhäuser; Fri Faust; Sat m Bohème; Sat e Carmen.

Aberdeen w/c 29 Mar 7.30: Mon Tales of Hoffmann; Tue Carmen; Wed Cav & Pag; Thu Faust; Fri 7.00 Tannhäuser; Sat m 2,30 Butterfly; Sat e Trovatore.

Edinburgh w/c 5 Apr 7.30: Mon Traviata; Tue Bohème; Wed Traviata; Thu Rigoletto; Fri Tannhäuser; Sat m 2.30 Butterfly; Sat e Cav & Pag.

Edinburgh w/c 12 Apr: Mon Carmen; Tue Faust; Wed Trovatore; Thu Tales of Hoffmann; Fri Cav & Pag; Sat m Bohème; Sat e Traviata.

Glasgow w/c 8 Mar: Mon Tales of Hoffmann; Tue Bohème; Wed Barber of Seville; Thu Traviata; Fri Carmen; Sat m Butterfly; Sat e Cav & Pag.

Glasgow w/c 15 Mar: Mon Rigoletto; Tue Tales of Hoffmann; WEd Bohème; Thu Barber of Seville; Fri Traviata; Sat m Carmen; Sat e Butterfly.

Glasgow w/c 22 Mar: Mon Cav & Pag; Tue Traviata; Wed Tales of Hoffmann; Thu Tannhäuser; Fri Faust; Sat m Bohème; Sat e Carmen.

Aberdeen w/c 29 Mar 7.30: Mon Tales of Hoffmann; Tue Carmen; Wed Cav & Pag; Thu Faust; Fri 7.00 Tannhäuser; Sat m 2,30 Butterfly; Sat e Trovatore.

Edinburgh w/c 5 Apr 7.30: Mon Traviata; Tue Bohème; Wed Traviata; Thu Rigoletto; Fri Tannhäuser; Sat m 2.30 Butterfly; Sat e Cav & Pag.

Edinburgh w/c 12 Apr: Mon Carmen; Tue Faust; Wed Trovatore; Thu Tales of Hoffmann; Fri Cav & Pag; Sat m Bohème; Sat e Traviata.

Casts for both from Opera Scotland's copy of the programme.

Performance Cast

Rodolfo a poet

John Myrddin

Marcello a painter

David Allen

Colline a philosopher

Ernest Thomas

Schaunard a musician

John Heddle Nash

Benoit the students' landlord

Geoffrey de Latour

Mimì a seamstress

Estelle Valery

Una Hale (6 Apr)

Parpignol a toy vendor

David Lewis

Musetta a grisette

Edna Graham

Alcindoro a wealthy follower of Musetta

Geoffrey de Latour

Custom-house Sergeant

Peter Harrison

Performance DatesBohème 1954

Map List

King's Theatre, Glasgow | Glasgow

9 Mar, 19.00 17 Mar, 19.00 27 Mar, 14.30

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

6 Apr, 19.30 17 Apr, 14.30

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