[Met Performance] CID:133680
La Fille du Régiment {38} Municipal Auditorium, Atlanta, Georgia: 04/23/1942.


Atlanta, Georgia
April 23, 1942


Marie.......................Lily Pons
Tonio.......................Raoul Jobin
Marquise of Berkenfield.....Irra Petina
Sergeant Sulpice............Salvatore Baccaloni
Hortentius..................Louis D'Angelo
Duchesse of Krakentorp......Maria Savage
Peasant.....................John Dudley
Corporal....................Wilfred Engelman
Notary......................William Fisher
Little Duke.................Alexis Kosloff

Conductor...................Frank St. Leger

Review of Eugenia Bridges Harty in the Atlanta Constitution

Met Season Closes With Martial Music

Atlanta music lovers did not crowd the municipal auditorium last night to hear the Metropolitan Opera Company's final performance of the annual opera season here, which was concluded with Donizetti's "The Daughter of the Regiment," with Lily Pons and Salvatore Baccaloni in the stellar roles.

The martial music of Donizetti's opera is timely and the enthusiastic house immediately evidenced its appreciation of Conductor Frank St. Leger's smooth handling of the score. It is an operatic vehicle in tune with the times, and its comic flavor is psychologically apt. The music patrons who heard it were, to say the least, charmed with its spectacular sets and colorful costumes.

Donizetti's opera which was revived last season for the coloratura talents of Miss Pons and Mr. Baccaloni's command of comedy, in all probability would have been exhumed anyhow after "Pearl Harbor." It was dusted off during the last world war (one prima donna of 1917 used to step out of her role to sing "Keep the Home Fires Burning.") And it is thus an opera which would carry itself under present world conditions. However, with two of the Met's leading box office attractions co-starring, the show was bound to be an intriguing one.

The music, however, needs such a team to put it over. It is a skimpy handful, as far as melodies are concerned. There is no really beautiful song in it. But Miss Pons is good enough to make a couple of her arias, particularly the farewell to the Regiment, in the second act, sound like pretty nice tunes. Later, however, one does not hum them spontaneously.

Last night's opera marked the operatic debut of Lily Pons in Atlanta. She is a lovely creature on the stage. Her airy little manner, and her voice match well. The bell-like beauty of her tones is consistently astonishing. Her handling of the picturesque role is another triumph to add to her many.

Mr. Baccaloni's clowning was as good as was expected, which is to say it was fine. His voice seemed to spread over the notes in the score more noticeably than usual, which is also by way of saying - plenty! Also, his French diction was not as good as one might expect. But then Miss Pons' command of the language, of course, is super, and offered an uncomfortable comparison for the Italian basso.

Petina Steals Scenes

As a matter of fact, the comic star of the evening, who was also endowed with wealthy vocal equipment, was the little Russian mezzo-soprano, Irra Petina. When she was on the stage, the scene was hers. Her piano antics in the first scene of the last act brought down the house.

She is a talented artist and a versatile one. Young and easy on the eyes off stage, she invariably portrays elderly roles with complete conviction. Miss Petina is, to our way of thinking, one of the Met's most interesting artists. She is a master showman and she can back it up vocally.

Last night's performance was the occasion of the debut of Raoul Jobin, the hero of the evening, who is the possessor of a very pleasing tenor voice. Unfortunately, his costume up until the last act makes one think of but one thing - an old comic strip character named Buster Brown. And, therefore, as the glamorous Lily Pons' piece de resistance, he is anything by convincing. Not only does he look like Buster, but he acts like him. His very nice tone quality is a redeeming feature, but one would suggest that Mr. Jobin see a tailor…and some other things.

Louis D'Angelo, as "Hortentius," does a fine piece of acting. This is his best piece of work for local opera-goers to date and he is an old-timer hereabouts.

Wilfred Engelman as the "Corporal" handles his small assignment with the usual finesse.

The audience gave its heartfelt thanks to Frank St. Leger for a fine show, applauding his last act entrance for several minutes. It was necessary for him to take strenuous bowing exercises before he could begin. In fact the tremendous enthusiasm of the house, though it was not packed, served to express Atlanta's thanks to the world's greatest operatic organization. All in all, it was a good job..

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