[Met Performance] CID:101460
Roméo et Juliette {150} Metropolitan Opera House: 02/13/1929.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
February 13, 1929


ROMÉO ET JULIETTE {150}

Roméo...................Edward Johnson
Juliette................Grace Moore
Frère Laurent...........Léon Rothier
Stéphano................Ellen Dalossy
Mercutio................Giuseppe De Luca
Benvolio................Giordano Paltrinieri
Gertrude................Henriette Wakefield
Capulet.................Clarence Whitehill
Tybalt..................Angelo Badà
Pâris...................Millo Picco
Grégorio................Paolo Ananian
Duke of Verona..........James Wolfe

Conductor...............Louis Hasselmans

Review of W. J. Henderson in the New York Sun

Grace Moore Sings Juliette

Edward Johnson as Romeo Wins Approval in Performance at the Metropolitan

Gounod's "Romeo et Juliette" was given at the Metropolitan Opera House last evening in the presence of an audience of moderate size and modified rapture. The work is not sufficiently popular in itself to attract throngs. It must have a strong cast, and especially lovers capable of breathing all the spirit of its romance. The folk of the theater used to say that no woman could act Shakespeare's Juliet till she was too old to look the part; but this is not the case with the heroine of the opera. If she has a pretty voice and a pretty face, some temperament and some knowledge of the routine of operatic acting, she will serve to make the opera possible, though not vital.

The Juliette of last evening was Grace Moore, who possesses several of the requirements of the role. She looked well, was sufficiently girlish and naïve and sang with a very agreeable quality of voice. But the poetic essence of Juliette was entirely missing, and the soprano's acting was innocent of all theatrical guile. Furthermore, her voice was hardly of large enough volume for the ensembles. It would be difficult to recall a Juliette of the Metropolitan catalogue who accomplished so little in the famous balcony scene. The duet was all Romeo. But Miss Moore may get under the skin of the role in future performances. She was naturally filled with anxiety last evening and quite lost herself for a moment in the waltz song. After the first act she was undoubtedly in command of her powers.

Edward Johnson's Romeo was cast in the true mold. This tenor has the romantic gift. He stimulates passion with much illusion and sings such music as that of the impetuous young lover with compelling fervor. In his principal scenes he evoked genuine and general approval from the audience, not simply from the professional applauders. Clarence Whitehill sang Capulet, which is not one of his familiar parts. He did not appear to be entirely at home in it, but he presented a dignified characterization and sang acceptably, though with apparent effort.

Leon Rothier is an experienced impersonator of Frere Laurent. He married the children of the warring houses with sturdy benediction.. There was also Mr. de Luca as Mercutio, a thankless part with one almost hopeless air, which the baritone delivered according to the traditions of the Metropolitan, if not according to those of the Grand Opera of Paris. Ellen Dalossy was the page, Mme. Wakefield the nurse and Mr. Bada the Tybalt. Mr. Hasselmans conducted.



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