[Met Performance] CID:107250
La Juive {57} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/28/1931.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 28, 1931


LA JUIVE {57}
F. Halévy-Scribe

Rachel..................Elisabeth Rethberg
Eléazar.................Giovanni Martinelli
Princess Eudoxie........Nina Morgana
Prince Léopold..........Alfio Tedesco
Cardinal de Brogni......Léon Rothier
Ruggiero................Millo Picco
Albert..................Louis D'Angelo
Herald..................Paolo Ananian
Major-domo..............James Wolfe
Dance...................Rita De Leporte
Dance...................Giuseppe Bonfiglio

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

Director................Ernst Lert
Set designer............Joseph Urban
Costume designer........Mathilde Castel-Bert
Choreographer...........Rosina Galli

La Juive received two performances this season.

Review of W. J. Henderson in the Sun

Mme. Rethberg in 'La Juive'

Takes Role of Rachel, Created by Mme. Falcon When Opera Was First Heard in Paris

Halevy's "La Juive" had its first performance of the present season at the Metropolitan Opera House last evening. This work has never enjoyed a large measure of popularity here, but possibly it is about to launch itself upon a new and higher flight. At any fate there was an audience of astonishing size and much of the kind of applause which makes known a real interest on the part of the listeners. The presentation of the old work had some salient merits and some defects. But there was a general spirit of earnestness and an unquestionable devotion to ideals, which made the evening interesting.

Mme. Elisabeth Rethberg assumed the robes and the sorrows of Rachel and accredited herself with a very commendable undertaking. Whether she can be made over into a Falcon is not yet to be determined one way or the other. Mme. Falcon, who created the role of Rachel when the opera was first heard in Paris, was so successful in dramatic parts of this type that they came to be called Falcon roles and singers of them, Falcons. In the very name there is something suggesting the character of this line of operatic art. The singer needs a full, powerful and soaring voice, one that can sweep boldly across the musical empyrean and, at the critical instant, stoop as the peregrine dropped upon its prey.

Mme Rethberg sang her music with her familiar beauty of tone and with a keen appreciation of its quality. She had style and she showed feeling. But she seemed as yet to be a falconest. Nor is it certain that she will ever quite reach the stature of such a role as Rachel; and the effort to conquer the strenuous utterances so plentifully scattered through the score may not benefit her singularly captivating voice. Her Rachel last evening, however, may have been merely a sketch of what she will draw with a more authoritative hand later in the season. And whatever she does she is always an artist.

Mr. Martinelli's Eleazar is already well and favorably known. He sang last night very well, indeed. His supper scene was admirable and, naturally, in the more vigorous passages he pealed forth tone of abundant power. It was not possible to find so much to enjoy in the offerings of the other tenor of the cast, Alfio Tedesco, who had a sorry time of it with the music of Leopold, though he was sufficiently fervent. Mme. Morgana was a pleasing; though not a moving princess. Rothier as Cardinal Brogni was perfectly at home in the style of the opera, but there were some novelties in his phrasing. He labored through the famous air, "Si la rigour et la vengeance," but received the unfailing tribute of applause.

Mr. Hasselmans conducted. We should have been grateful to him had he checked the enthusiasm of his brass in some places. The singers needed his consideration. Aside from that, all that need by recorded is that the orchestra was frequently polytonal and that is something of which Halevy never dreamed.



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