[Met Performance] CID:118370
La Rondine {16} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/17/1936.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 17, 1936


LA RONDINE {16}
Puccini-Adami

Magda...................Lucrezia Bori
Ruggero.................Nino Martini
Lisette.................Editha Fleischer
Prunier.................Marek Windheim
Rambaldo................Louis D'Angelo
Yvette..................Helen Gleason
Bianca..................Thelma Votipka
Suzy....................Helen Olheim
Perichaud...............George Cehanovsky
Crebillon...............James Wolfe
Gobin...................Giordano Paltrinieri
Georgette...............Charlotte Symons
Gabrielle...............Thelma Votipka
Lolette.................Dorothea Flexer
Major-domo..............Arnold Gabor
Dance...................Kyra Blank
Dance...................Daphne Vane
Dance...................Douglas Coudy

Conductor...............Ettore Panizza

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

La Rondine received three performances this season.

Review of W. J. Henderson in the Sun

Miss Bori Has Title Role in Opera Sung Here First Time in Six Years

Puccini's "La Rondine" was given at the Metropolitan Opera House last evening for the first time since December 16, 1929. The work had been introduced there March 11, 1928. In spite of an apparently favorable disposition of the public, it did not have many repetitions. It is not a serious opera and distinctly not "grand." It is a vivacious and lightly conceived musical play mingling humor, farce, tender sentiment and stage show in well planned proportions and is on the whole a pleasing entertainment. It is all about a young lady of the evening called "The Swallow" who lives luxuriously at the expense of a middle aged gentleman named Rambaldo, and her brief excursion a la Camille into the world of romance.

A young countryman, excessively innocent, comes to town, regards the Swallow as all that is noble in woman, wishes to marry her, but is refused by the high-minded courtesan with the confession that she is not the sort of person people marry. While the countryman is seeing Paris we are all taken to the Bal Bullier for a grand spectacular ball room scene and the inevitable love duet. The whole story is light and frothy, but pleasant to observe in its simple unfolding. The action is in general engaging and while the music is assuredly not of Puccini's best, it is none the less grateful to the ear. It has the composer's illusion of facility and his expertness in the use of voices and orchestra.

The opera was presented last evening with adequate attention to all its musical and spectacular details. Miss Bori as Magda (La Rondine) was charm incarnate. She sang delightfully, she wore contrasting costumes with keen sense of the picture, she danced with nonchalance and airy grace, and she placed before the audience a not very subtle character clearly and delicately drawn.
Nino Martini was the Ruggiero, the young innocent from the provinces. His voice proved to be well suited to the music and he sang with good style and with sentiment. Perhaps his action could have been more significant, but there are no movie directors on the Metropolitan staff.

Editha Fleischer, the maid, and Marek Windheim as the poet furnished a competent low comedy foil to the sentimental pair and their impersonations added vivacity to the action. Louis D'Angelo comported himself with all the dignity to be expected of a man of experience watching the passing infatuation of his inamorata. All the minor roles were capably handled. The stage management accomplished good results in the Bal Bullier scene which was well mounted and costumed. Members of the American ballet contributed some commendable dancing to this scene. The ensemble was well sung and on the whole every one seemed to be having himself or herself a right profitable evening in gay Paree.

The audience was large and there was evidence that it enjoyed the revival of Puccini's lightest work. There was no sign of emotional enthusiasm, but that could hardly be expected. That kind of demonstration is reserved for highly serious opera. Last evening there were laughter and applause. That is what the creators of the work tried to get.



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