Opera Scotland

Boris Godunov 1917Beecham Grand Opera Company

Read more about the opera Boris Godunov

Sir Thomas Beecham's Grand Opera Company spent the three weeks commencing 5 March 1917 in Edinburgh during the course of a national tour.

The Edinburgh schedule was as follows:

First week: Mon Aïda; Tue Louise; Wed Bohème; Thu Tristan; Fri Boris Godunov; Sat mat Cav & Pag; Sat eve Butterfly.

Second week: Mon Seraglio; Tue Samson & Delilah; Wed mat Bohème; Wed eve Tristan; Thu Tosca; Fri Aïda; Sat mat Butterfly; Sat eve Boris Godunov.

Third week: Mon Magic Flute; Tue Otello; Wed mat Samson & Delilah; Wed eve Bohème; Thu Girl of the Golden West; Fri Faust; Sat mat Magic Flute; Sat eve Cav & Pag.

Boris Godunov took a long time to achieve international success, and received its British premiere in London, at Drury Lane, on 24 June 1913, sung in Russian. It reappeared on 5 July 1916 at the Aldwych Theatre, this time performed in French. Sir Thomas Beecham had inherited the scenery of several productions of Russian works from the Diaghilev company on the outbreak of war, and launched his company's staging, in the new English translation by Rosa Newmarch, on 23 February 1917 in Birmingham. After a national tour that included these two performances in Edinburgh, it opened in London, again at Drury Lane, on 2 June 1917.

The British performances at this time were all in versions using Rimsky-Korsakov's major editorial adjustments. Another notable feature, at least from the evidence of this cast, is that the third, 'Polish' act is omitted, so there are no singers listed for the roles of Marina and her adviser Rangoni.

Abbreviated cast details are from the opening night review in The Scotsman of 10 March.

Performance Cast

Shuisky Prince Vasily Ivanovich Shuisky

Maurice D' Oisly

Boris Godunov Tsar of Russia

Robert Radford

Grigory Otrepiev a novice monk

Webster Millar

Hostess at the inn

Edith Clegg

Missail an itinerant monk

Alfred Heather

Varlaam an itinerant monk

Frederick Ranalow

Xenia Tsarevna daughter of Boris

Desirée Ellinger

Fyodor Tsarevitch son of Boris

Ethel Toms

Nurse to Xenia

Edith Clegg


Maurice D' Oisly

Performance DatesBoris Godunov 1917

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

9 Mar, 00.00 17 Mar, 00.00

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