Opera Scotland

Bohème 1929Covent Garden Opera

Read more about the opera Bohème

The Scotsman:  Thursday, 31 October 1929 (p12):

'What position Turandot will eventually take among the works of Puccini, whether it will come to be accepted as his greatest opera or not, is a matter for the future.  At the moment there is a disposition to see in it a suggestion of a Puccini who might have been, had he been spared, a second Verdi, producing finer work in a wonderful old age than ever before.

'But if the time has not yet arrived to place Puccini's operas, earlier and later, in their exact order of merit,  there are few that will not agree that it is in La Bohème that the characteristic Puccinian qualities are seen most happily in operation.   Murger's student lovers and grisettes are enveloped in an air of rather pensive romance which exactly suited the mood of the composer,  and with so perfectly congenial a theme he touched of every shade of emotion with an unerring skill and and a really wonderful simplicity of means.

'For every phase of sentiment there is the right musical equivalent,  while the orchestral treatment,  although it is as far as possible from being Mozartian in character, is Mozartian in having, as the greater man once remarked of one of his own works,  just so many notes as are required, neither more nor less.

'Last night's performance of the opera at the King's Theatre brought out its full beauty.  Mr Barbirolli gave the work with the utmost finish,  and it was something of a grievance that at the end of each scene the enthusiasm of the audience led to the final notes being drowned in applause.  One would have preferred complete silence first, and then as much applause s was desired.

'The best cast the company could provide was put on.  Miss Noël Eadie's Mimì was in every respect a fine performance.  The pathos was there, and all the more effective from never being obtruded. Miss Doris Lemon was admirable in the vivacity and tenderness of Musetta.

'Mr Heddle Nash's Rudolph was as good as anything he has done in Edinburgh, which is no smallpraise,  and the Marcel of Mr Percy Heming was another finished study.  The Colline of Mr Fernando Autori, and the Schaunard of Mr William Michael, alike excellent,  completed the quartet of students.  Mr Octave Dua, doubling, according to custom, the rôles of Benoit and Alcindoro,  provided admirable pieces of comedy.

'The chorus, in its one but very exacting scene, was very good, and the playing of the orchestra was deserving of the highest praise. The opera was very well staged, and the lighting, as in the other performances of the present fortnight,  was particularly effective.' 

Performance Cast

Rodolfo a poet

Heddle Nash (Oct 30)

Marcello a painter

Percy Heming (Oct 30)

Colline a philosopher

Fernando Autori (Oct 30)

Schaunard a musician

William Michael (Oct 30)

Benoit the students' landlord

Octave Dua (Oct 30)

Mimì a seamstress

Noël Eadie (Oct 30)

Musetta a grisette

Doris Lemon (Oct 30)

Alcindoro a wealthy follower of Musetta

Octave Dua (Oct 30)

Performance DatesBohème 1929

Map List

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

2 Oct, 19.30

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

11 Oct, 19.15 19 Oct, 19.15

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

30 Oct, 19.30

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