Opera Scotland

Faust 1928British National Opera Company

Read more about the opera Faust

During this four week visit to Scotland, the traditionally popular warhorse,  Faust,  was only given two performances, both midweek matinees.  The reviewers, as they did last year, comment on the difficulty of selling tickets for these Wednesday afternoon shows.  It doesn't seem to occur to them that out-of-town theatre-goers might not want to see 'yet again' one of the most popular operas,  when city residents are offered more unusual works.

 

The Edinburgh View

The midweek matinee of Faust, along with the evening Barber of Seville, were reviewed in the following morning's Scotsman - Thursday, 25 October, (p6):

'For people who live out of town, the mid-week matinee provided by the British National Opera Company might be supposed to afford a welcome opportunity to see an opera well done.  Admitting that this section of the musical public is not large,  it might easily be more extensively represented than is ordinarily the case.  There was a very good performance of Faust yesterday afternoon,  but the audience was not nearly such as the merits of the performance deserved.

'Mr Tudor Davies sang with admirable feeling and distinction as Faust,  and the ease of his singing in the music of the garden scene was particularly enjoyable.  Miss Kathlyn Hilliard made a very charming Marguerite,  and the girlish appearance, which is not always possible for Marguerites,  was accompanied by a like girlish freshness of vocalisation.  Mr Robert Parker's Mephistopheles was a sound rendering,  on more or less conventional lines, and the Siebel of Miss Marjorie Parry was an attractive impersonation.  Mr Bernard Ross made a fine soldierly Valentine,  and the death scene was well done.  The Martha of Miss Constance Willis had a certain note of individuality, and Mr Martin Quinn's Wagner was good within its limited opportunities.  Chorus and orchestra were both satisfactory.  Mr Leslie Heward conducted.

 

 

BNOC in Scotland 1928

This final Scottish tour by BNOC was only four weeks instead of the six enjoyed the previous year.  This is partly because the King's Theatre in Dundee, an excellent modern venue, visited for the first time in 1927,  was now a cinema and no longer available.  But Aberdeen (His Majesty's) was still a welcoming venue along with Edinburgh (King's) and Glasgow (Theatre Royal).

The fifteen operas performed were:

Mozart (Magic Flute);  Rossini (Barber of Seville);  Wagner (Tannhäuser,  Lohengrin;  Mastersingers);  Verdi (TrovatoreAïdaFalstaff);  Gounod (Faust);  Bizet (Carmen);  Massenet (Manon);  Puccini (Bohème,  Madam Butterfly);  Leoncavallo (Pagliacci);  Mascagni (Cavalleria Rusticana)

 

The tour schedule was as follows:

Aberdeen, w/c 15 October:  Mon 15  Lohengrin;  Tue 16  Carmen;  Wed 17 mat  Tannhäuser;  Wed 17 eve  Madam Butterfly;  Thu 18  Aïda;  Fri 19  Falstaff;  Sat 20 mat  Bohème;  Sat 20 eve  Cav & Pag.

Edinburgh, w/c 22 October:  Mon 22  Manon;  Tue 23  Lohengrin;  Wed 24 mat  Faust;  Wed 24 eve  Barber of Seville;  Thu 25  Magic Flute;  Fri 26  Falstaff;  Sat 27 mat  Carmen;  Sat 27 eve Madam Butterfly.

Glasgow, w/c 29 October:  Mon 29  Lohengrin;  Tue 30  Tannhäuser;  Wed 31 mat  Faust;  Wed 31 eve  Barber of Seville;  Thu 01 Nov  Falstaff;  Fri 02  Manon;  Sat 03 mat Carmen;  Sat 03 eve  Bohème.

Glasgow, w/c 05 November:  Mon 05  Falstaff;  Tue 06  Magic Flute;  Wed 07 mat  Trovatore;  Wed 07 eve  Lohengrin;  Thu 08  Aïda;  Fri 09  Mastersingers;  Sat 10 mat  Manon;  Sat 10 eve  Madam Butterfly.

Performance Cast

Faust a learned doctor

Tudor Davies (Oct 24 m)

Méphistophélès the devil

Robert Parker (Oct 24 m)

Valentin Marguerite's brother

Bernard Ross (Oct 24 m)

Wagner a student of Dr Faust

Martin Quinn (Oct 24 m)

Marguerite

Kathlyn Hilliard (Oct 24 m)

Siébel a student of Dr Faust, in love with Marguerite

Marjorie Parry (Oct 24 m)

Marthe a neighbour

Constance Willis (Oct 24 m)

Performance DatesFaust 1928

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

24 Oct, 14.00

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

31 Oct, 14.00

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