[Met Performance] CID:127180
Orfeo ed Euridice {46} American Academy of Music, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 12/12/1939.

(Review)


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
December 12, 1939


ORFEO ED EURIDICE {46}

Orfeo...................Kerstin Thorborg
Euridice................Irene Jessner
Amore...................Marita Farell
Happy Shade.............Annamary Dickey
Dance...................Doris Neal
Dance...................Monna Montes
Dance...................Grant Mouradoff

Conductor...............Erich Leinsdorf

Review of Edwin H. Schloss in the Philadelphia Record

Met's 'Orfeo' Is in Finest Tradition

The first performance of "Orfeo ed Euridice" heard here from the Metropolitan Opera Association in more than 25 years was offered to a brilliant audience in the Academy of Music last night as the second event in the New York company's current season at Broad and Locust Streets.

Considered a revolutionary work at its Viennese premiere a century and three-quarters ago, Gluck's classic masterpiece inevitably belongs to the cameo school of the lyric drama today - operas of which viable revivals are only possible to organizations with such opulent resources in money, brains and taste as the Metropolitan lists among its general working assets.

And those assets were superbly mobilized last night in a production remarkable for its vitality, imagination, dignity and distinguished beauty in practically all departments.

Mme. Thorborg's Orfeo

Most of the cool loveliness and mobile passion of Gluck's arias were in the artistic keeping of Mme. Kerstin Thorborg, the Met's statuesque contralto who was the Orfeo of the evening, and she kept that ancient trust well. The part is well suited to her voice, and she sang it with a simple sincerity, a complete lack of vocal affectation and a feeling for the classic line and spirit of the music that summed up to the finest performance heard here since Louise Homer - and the fact that it was also practically the only one does not detract from the compliment.

Supporting Mme. Thorborg in the opera's only other vocal roles were Irene Jessner as Euridice; Marita Farell as Amore and Annamary Dickey as the "Happy Shade," making up an all-feminine cast of uniformly high merit. Last night's important ballets were well handled by the company corps in the choreographies of Boris Romanoff, in which Grant Mouradoff and Monna Montes danced leading roles.



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