[Met Performance] CID:100900
Der Rosenkavalier {47} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/4/1929.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 4, 1929


DER ROSENKAVALIER {47}
R. Strauss-Hofmannsthal

Octavian................Maria Jeritza
Princess von Werdenberg.Florence Easton
Baron Ochs..............Richard Mayr
Sophie..................Queena Mario
Faninal.................Gustav Schützendorf
Annina..................Henriette Wakefield
Valzacchi...............Angelo Badà
Italian Singer..........Alfio Tedesco
Marianne................Dorothee Manski
Mahomet.................Madeline Leweck
Princess' Major-domo.........Max Altglass
Orphan..................Charlotte Ryan
Orphan..................Dorothea Flexer
Orphan..................Philine Falco
Milliner................Phradie Wells
Animal Vendor...........Raffaele Lipparini
Hairdresser.............Armando Agnini
Notary..................William Gustafson
Leopold.................Ludwig Burgstaller
Faninal's Major-domo....George Meader
Innkeeper...............George Meader
Police Commissioner.....James Wolfe

Conductor...............Artur Bodanzky

Director................Wilhelm Von Wymetal
Set designer............Hans Kautsky
Costume designer........Alfred Roller

Der Rosenkavalier received two performances this season.

Review of Lawrence Gilman in the New York Herald Tribune

"Der Rosenkavalier" at the Opera with Jeritza as Octavian

It is known of all men how Maria Jeritza, most queenly of pinch-hitters, announced her willingness to step into the breach of breeches, if you choose, at the Metropolitan's "Rosenkavalier" performance last night in aid of the distressful Mr. Gatti-Casazza, embarrassed in his managerial plans by the indisposition of another singer. This noble and salvaging act on the part of Mme. Jeritza was duly accomplished last evening in the presence of a large and expectant house, gathered for the first presentation this season of Strauss's most lovable opera.

The stricken Miss Grete Stückgold, who had been billed to sing the rôle of the philandering youth Octavian, bearer of the Silver Rose, was missed for she made a charming impression in the rôle last season, but when the curtain rose on the Marschallin's boudoir, and we beheld the satin knickers, silken hose, ruffled blouse and becoming brunette wig of Octavian Maria Ehrenreich Bonaventura Fernand Hyacinth, the amorous gallant "Youth of a Noble Family" (as the libretto calls him) we were, to put it moderately, appeased.

Mme. Jeritza's performance last evening is in need of no indulgence on the score of a sudden response to an emergency. It stood squarely on its own shapely and competent supports as an engrossing embodiment of the character of Strauss and von Hofmannsthal. It filled the eye with its magnetic grace and its vitality of bearing; and it most agreeably filled the ear. Octavian's music does not invite a forcing of the voice and Mme. Jeritza sang last night with continence and often with beauty and true fervor.

But Octavian is not -- with due respect to his eminent impersonator last night - the paramount figure in "Der Rosenkavalier." We have it, on the word of von Hofmannsthal himself, that it is the Princess who dominates the play, with Ochs and Quinquin, as he said "on the other hand" - the princess with her sage ironic tenderness, her largeness and gentleness of spirit, her wisdom of the heart, and her autumnal resignation. She is the soul of the comedy, so far as this at times too farcical and rough-hewn opera has a detectable sound. It is to the Princess that Strauss has given the most treasurous music in the score, and lovely music, at its best, if often is.

It has not often, in these latter years, vouchsafed us such writing as that which fills with musing and wistful beauty the closing pages of the first act - music that strikes with exquisite tact and justness and felicity the right note, the right accent, delicate and precise. There is no false emphasis here, whatever we may feel about the rest of the work. Strauss has shown us here that he can be, or could be once, the reticent, sensitive poet, fine-fingered and fine-grained.

It needs an artist of rare sensibility and imagination to realize the Princess in these deeper moods of hers, and to sing such music as that which Strauss has given her at the end of the first act - music which it would be easy to sentimentalize. Mme. Easton was as so often before, the Princess of last night's performance, and again she moved us by the beauty and fidelity of her performance, which seemed to us more finely wrought than ever - richer in overtones and implications, and strangely lighted from within.

The Baron Ochs of Richard Mayr is quite the most authoritative and amusing that we have had in New York - and no wonder, for this embodiment has long been a classic in Europe.

The Sophie was not, as the program declared, Miss Editha Fleischer, for Miss Fleischer had joined the growing company of the Metropolitan's afflicted, and her place was gamely taken by Miss Queena Mario, who had just risen from a sickbed.

The performance was enjoyed by a large and quickened gathering, which sought to make the singing-actors show themselves at the close of the first act; but although the outer curtains remained agape for several moments, no one appeared - somewhat to the mystification of the audience. Later in the evening, however, they all came forward and were duly and joyfully thanked.



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