[Met Performance] CID:120280
Samson et Dalila {62} Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York, Brooklyn: 01/12/1937.

(Review)


New York, Brooklyn
January 12, 1937


SAMSON ET DALILA {62}

Samson..................René Maison
Dalila..................Gertrud Wettergren
High Priest.............Ezio Pinza
Abimélech...............John Gurney
Old Hebrew..............Chase Baromeo
Philistine..............Max Altglass
Philistine..............Wilfred Engelman
Messenger...............Angelo Badà
Dance...................Daphne Vane

Conductor...............Maurice Abravanel

Review of B. H. Haggin in the Brooklyn Eagle

Metropolitan Presents 'Samson et Dalila' at Academy

The Metropolitan Opera Association paid its second visit of the season to Brooklyn last night, presenting at the Academy of Music its revival of Saint-Saens' 'Samson et Dalila.' Except for the substitution of Chase Baromeo for Emanuel List as the Old Hebrew, the opera was sung by the same distinguished cast as at the first performance in Manhattan" Gertrud Wettergren as Dalila, Rene Maison as Samson, Ezio Pinza as the Hight Priest, John Gurney as Abimelech, Angelo Bada as the Phillistine Messenger, and Max Altglass and Wilfred Engelman as the two Phillistines, with the dance by the American Ballet.

Brooklyn, which heard Mme. Wettergren earlier this season in one of the Institute series of recitals, now had an opportunity to hear her in opera, and to experience the qualities of voice, presence, dramatic temperament and force that make her a dramatic singer and artist of unusual distinction. She is, in fact, one of those beings whose mere presence on the stage is arresting, and who by this quality - added to face, figure, bearing - created out of her first act entrance last night , her movement on the stage, her exit, something exciting and unforgettable. In the more intimate Academy, moreover, her voice had greater richness than in the vast Metropolitan Opera House, in addition to its usual dramatic coloring.

Brooklyn, on this occasion also made the acquaintance of Maurice de Abravanel, the Metropolitan's new conductor for the French repertory, who again showed himself to be a musician of taste, authority and assurance. And it had an opportunity to see the work of Dr. Herbert Graf, the Metropolitan's new stage director for French and Italian operas - particularly the coherence and dramatic emphasis in grouping and movement that he achieved in the first act.

Rene Maison was again a credible Samson to look at, but the peculiar metallic quality of his voice in one that I always find unpleasant to listen to. Ezio Pinza's singing had its usual magnificence, and his presence and action their usual vibrancy and force. The other parts call for no special comment.

There was a large audience present that gave evidence of pleasure in the performance.



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