[Met Performance] CID:118290
Manon {121} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/10/1936.

(Debut: Joseph Bentonelli
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 10, 1936


MANON {121}
Massenet-Meilhac/Gille

Manon...................Lucrezia Bori
Des Grieux..............Joseph Bentonelli [Debut]
Lescaut.................Richard Bonelli
Count des Grieux........Chase Baromeo
Guillot.................Angelo Badà
Brétigny................George Cehanovsky
Poussette...............Helen Gleason
Javotte.................Charlotte Symons
Rosette.................Irra Petina
Innkeeper...............Louis D'Angelo
Guard...................Max Altglass
Guard...................Arnold Gabor
Maid....................Gina Gola
Archer..................George Cehanovsky
Sergeant................Louis D'Angelo

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

Director................Désiré Defrère
Designer................Joseph Urban
Choreographer...........George Balanchine

[There was no credit for George Balanchine in the program,
but a ballet was reviewed in the newspapers.]

Manon received three performances this season.

Review of George Brown in unidentified newspaper

Bentonelli Had Debut in 'Manon' at Metropolitan

"Manon" had this season's initial hearing on Friday evening at the Metropolitan Opera House. A new tenor graced the role of Des Grieux. He was Joseph Bentonelli, an American by birth, and really Joseph Benton by name. Mr. Bentonelli's voice at times has a warm, lyric quality. It isn't a big voice. Neither is it without color. But it is tremulously uneven. Friday night, at least, it showed a tendency to run out of control and make itself strident when Mr. Bentonelli forced his voice in an attempt to fill the huge auditorium. The artist makes a personable appearance, and comported himself nicely in the role. But perhaps another hearing on an occasion less nerve straining for Mr. Bentonelli may create a more favorable impression. Until then, we must suspend final judgment.

'Manon" is a keen example of the Massenet, who applied all his skill to a single purpose: the portrayal of romantic, sentimental love. In the principal name role, Lucrezia Bori presented a penetrating, sensitive picture of the gay lady whose great store of love and generous disposal of it brought tragedy to herself and the man she loved. There was a passionate vitality in her acting, a lucid persuasiveness about her voice, that resulted in a glowing and vigorous performance of the role. Her Manon is still one of Miss Bori's best. Mr. Bonelli, in fine fettle, added measurably to the scenes in which he appeared. Mr. Hasselmans conducted with feeling, aware at all times of the charm and flavor of this delightful Massenet opus. The audience filled the auditorium to overflowing.



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