[Met Performance] CID:119380
Carmen {339} Lyric Theater, Baltimore, Maryland: 04/4/1936.

(Review)


Baltimore, Maryland
April 4, 1936


CARMEN {339}

Carmen..................Rosa Ponselle
Don José................René Maison
Micaela.................Hilda Burke
Escamillo...............Julius Huehn
Frasquita...............Thelma Votipka
Mercédès................Helen Olheim
Remendado...............Marek Windheim
Dancaïre................Angelo Badà
Zuniga..................Louis D'Angelo
Moralès.................George Cehanovsky
Dance...................Ruthanna Boris
Dance...................William Dollar
Dance...................Madeline Leweck
Dance...................Anatol Vilzak

Conductor...............Louis Hasselmans [Last performance]

Review signed H. A. F. P. in the Baltimore American

Rosa Ponselle Delightful In Opera 'Carmen'

When a prima donna appears in a favorite role, that's delightful, but not news.

But when a famous diva presents a character in which she has never been seen before, that is definitely news of the most exciting nature.
So it follows that neither the attendance nor the enthusiasm at the Lyric last evening, for Rosa Ponselle's first Baltimore hearing in the title role of the seductive "Carmen," suffered in the least by comparison with the state of things on the two preceding nights of opera this week.

FINEST CARMEN

Miss Ponselle, in fact, was the finest Carmen seen in Baltimore in many years. She had all the impertinence of a street urchin, all the vitality of a peasant, all the wiles of a fascinating woman.

As she was called again and again before the curtain, she sought to divert the applause to Hilda Burke, the former Peabody protégée, Miss Ponselle herself applauding. As for Miss Burke she gave more than personality to her role.

MONTHS OF RESEARCH

Before Edward Johnson, the company's new general manager, positively decided to include the opera in the season's repertory, Mlle. Ponselle had devoted months of research, consultation and study to the role, and when the production of the opera was an assured fact the singer went abroad and studied the part with French authorities.

Every detail of her costumes was verified, and correct attire is something concerning which this artist is always meticulously fastidious.

Critical opinions varied concerning her interpretation of the role, but the popular verdict was so favorable that it has been impossible to present the opera in all the cities which desired its inclusion in the list of works to be presented by the company on tour.

ROSE RAPIDLY

Of special Baltimore interest was the presence in the cast of Miss Burke, the singer who rose so rapidly after studying at the Peabody under George Castello, and winning State and national Federation of Music Clubs prizes and foreign opera scholarships.

Miss Burke proceeded to the Metropolitan by way of the Philadelphia and the Chicago opera companies, where she made her debut as Aida.

Her welcome in the role of Micaela last night was of the warmest, and the music assigned by Bizet to this character, contrasting so sweetly with the firery "Carmen," lies exactly in the range of her pure soprano tones.

Rene Maison, a big man physically, sang the role of Don José in a light lyric tenor and as an actor was excellent. Julius Huehn was a most virile Escamillo. Helen Olheim and Thelma Votipka impersonated Carmen's two lively friends and the lesser roles were in the experienced care of Angelo Bada, Marek Windheim, Louis d'Angelo and George Cehanovsky. The conductor was Louis Hasselmans.

This was the first time the Metropolitan has given the opera in Baltimore since the days when Geraldine Farrar delighted the role of the temperamental Carmen.



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