[Met Performance] CID:133540
Der Rosenkavalier {85} Cleveland Auditorium, Cleveland, Ohio: 04/9/1942.

(Review)


Cleveland, Ohio
April 9, 1942


DER ROSENKAVALIER {85}

Octavian.....................Jarmila Novotna
Princess von Werdenberg......Lotte Lehmann
Baron Ochs...................Emanuel List
Sophie.......................Eleanor Steber
Faninal......................Julius Huehn
Annina.......................Irra Petina
Valzacchi....................Alessio De Paolis
Italian Singer...............John Carter
Marianne.....................Thelma Votipka
Mahomet......................Sari Montague [Last performance]
Princess' Major-domo.........Emery Darcy
Orphan.......................Lucielle Browning
Orphan.......................Maxine Stellman
Orphan.......................Mary Van Kirk
Milliner.....................Annamary Dickey
Animal Vendor................Herman Dreeben [Last performance]
Hairdresser..................Michael Arshansky
Notary.......................Gerhard Pechner
Leopold......................Ludwig Burgstaller
Coachman.....................John Gurney
Musician.....................Wilfred Engelman
Faninal's Major-domo.........John Dudley
Innkeeper....................John Dudley
Police Commissioner..........John Gurney

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

Review of Arthur Loesser in the Cleveland Press

Lauds Miss Lehmann portrayal of Princess in Met's Production of "Rosenkavalier"

"Der Rosenkavalier" was the Metropolitan's offering last night; the Public Hall was little short of being completely full. It may well have been the largest audience that has ever assembled to hear this opera, with 9,000 present.

"Rosenkavalier" is a delightful work; there are many besides myself who think it is Strauss's masterpiece. It is one of the very, very few musical stage works written during the last 35 years that has built up any affection in the minds of music lovers.

But it is not as a more or less amorphous flow of tones that the music can be best enjoyed, but rather as the emotional background to Hofmannsthal's charming comedy. The text is a civilized tid-bit, a piece of simple-seeming sophistication, of jesting wisdom, in which the 18th Century Viennese setting is a mere frame for the underlying human realities.

U. S. Audiences Miss the Words

It is a pity that the direct effect of the words is inaccessible to American audiences, though these no doubt derive much satisfaction from the horse-play and farcical incidents of the action.

In speaking of the performers, it is obvious that ordinary vocal standards can hardly be exclusively applied in judging their work, as it might be in ordinary tune-operas. This is a case where their acting is even more important than their singing.

From this point of view the work of Lotte Lehmann, as the Princess von Werdenberg, was deserving of the highest praise. She gave an especially moving portrayal of the wise, generous, aging lady, the real heroine of the play.

Emanuel List played the part of the coarse Baron Ochs, the gentleman who is definitely no gentleman, interpreting him amusingly in not too dreadfully low comedy style, with booming bass tones and broad Viennese dialect. The audience made less of this, to be sure, than of his occasional fanny-pinching.

Miss Novotna Deserves Credit

Jarmila Novotna was better cast as the youthful Octavian than she was on previous occasions. Naturally she was more convincing when supposedly disguised as a girl, than her ostensibly rightful form as the lover of both the princess and Sophie. I cannot overcome my distaste as seeing men's parts taken by women. But Miss Novotna deserves credit for some fine singing at various prominent points throughout the opera.

Julius Huehn did competent work as the fawning Faninal. Eleanor Steber had a certain immature charm which was appropriate to the part of Sophie.

Smaller parts were satisfactorily taken by Thelma Votipka, Alessio de Paolis, Irra Petina, John Gurney, John Carter and others.

Friends of Mary Van Kirk of Cleveland and Akron were pleased to welcome her in her Cleveland debut last night. She sang a small part, one of the three orphan girls in the first act.

Erich Leinsdorf conducted with knowledge and skill.



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