[Met Performance] CID:118220
Mignon {67} Matinee Broadcast ed. Metropolitan Opera House: 01/4/1936., Broadcast

(Debut: Josephine Antoine

Broadcast
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 4, 1936 Matinee Broadcast


MIGNON {67}
Am. Thomas-Carré/Barbier

Mignon..................Lucrezia Bori
Wilhelm Meister.........Richard Crooks
Philine.................Josephine Antoine [Debut]
Lothario................Ezio Pinza
Frédéric................Helen Olheim
Laërte..................Angelo Badà
Jarno...................James Wolfe
Antonio.................Hubert Raidich
Dance...................William Dollar

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

Director................Désiré Defrère
Designer................Serge Soudeikine
Choreographer...........George Balanchine

Mignon received four performances this season.

Review of Francis D. Perkins in the Herald Tribune

First 'Mignon' Of Season Given At Metropolitan

Lucrezia Bori Sings Title Role; Richard Crooks in Part of Wilhelm Meister

Josephine Antoine Heard

Colorado Soprano in Debut in Character of Philine

Ambroise Thomas's opera "Mignon" had its first performance of the season at the Metropolitan Opera House yesterday afternoon, with Lucrezia Bori, as in former years, in the title role, and Richard Crooks as Wilhelm Meister. As Philine, Josephine Antoine, a young American soprano from Colorado, made her first appearance with the company, while Ezio Pinza was the mildly distraught Lothario, and Helen Oelheim sang her fourth Metropolitan role as the choleric and youthful Frederic.

Although this was her debut with Mr. Johnson's company, Miss Antoine has had several hearings here during the last few years in the operas and concerts at the Juilliard School, and sang last year in the memorable, but unfortunately discontinued, opera series of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Philine is not a particularly grateful role, but it has its vocal opportunities, and Miss Antoine took advantage of these in a generally laudable manner. Her voice, while not one of exceptional size, carried well, and the tone quality, suggesting a well schooled production, was usually clear, fluent and unruffled.

Miss Antoine's interpretation gave an impression of more confidence and more experience on the opera stage than is likely to be found in most debut appearances; such debut nervousness as she may have felt on the ….and ears of the audience. Except for some slight departures from clarity and fullness in the upper middle register, the young singer's tone was notably even, and the vocal flourishes of the first act were deftly executed. The Polonaise met with ardent applause. The dramatic demands of the role, such as they are, were met with very acceptably; in this regard more comprehensive opportunity for appraisal will be furnished next Thursday when Miss Antoine sings Gilda in "Rigoletto."

"Mignon," with its French libretto some distance after Goethe's "Wilhelm Meister," did not have particularly good fortune at the Metropolitan until its revival by Mr. Gatti-Casazza in March, 1927, but it has been heard at least once in every subsequent season. In the recent relative success of Thomas's septuagenarian opera, Miss Bori's impersonation of the title role has played a large part. Well sung and dramatically and sympathetically set forth yesterday, as of yore, it caused ample reason for regret that we are to lose Miss Bori's services on this stage after this spring.

Mr. Crooks, a very personable representative of the romantic Wilhelm, was in good voice, and Mr. Pinza sang with notable sonority as Lothario. Miss Oelheim did very likeable work in the rather preposterous role of Frederic. Angelo Bada who, except for Miss Bori, was the only member of the 1927 cast to appear in this performance, repeated his exuberant and appealing impersonation of Laertes. James Wolfe, as Jarno, and Hubert Raidich, as Antonio, were the other members of the cast singing under the direction of Louis Hasselmans, while William Dollar was the solo dancer with the ballet. The house was completely sold out.



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