[Met Performance] CID:141430
Roméo et Juliette {185} Matinee ed. Boston Opera House, Boston, Massachusetts: 04/6/1946.

(Review)


Boston, Massachusetts
April 6, 1946 Matinee


ROMÉO ET JULIETTE {185}

Roméo...................Raoul Jobin
Juliette................Patrice Munsel
Frère Laurent...........Ezio Pinza
Stéphano................Frances Greer
Mercutio................Martial Singher
Benvolio................Richard Manning
Gertrude................Anna Kaskas
Capulet.................Frank Valentino
Tybalt..................Thomas Hayward
Pâris...................George Cehanovsky
Grégorio................Louis D'Angelo
Duke of Verona..........Osie Hawkins

Conductor...............Emil Cooper

Review of Alexander Williams in the Boston Herald

"Romeo et Juliette"

Things have certainly looked up with the Metropolitan since the open*ing night of the Boston season. Yesterday's matinee of Gounod's "Romeo et Juliette" was musically a smooth and creditable production. As an opera I find it ever so much more rewarding than the same composer's better known "Faust." The second and fourth acts are musically much richer than the set pieces with long intervals of tedium in "Faust." Yesterday's performance was ably conducted by Emil Cooper and was altogether a pleasant operatic afternoon in the conventional manner.

Miss Munsel's Juliette from the physical point of view was much more plausible than Shakespeare's Juliet ever is on the stage. Her youth, charming looks and slim figure really give us the illusion of this famous heroine. Her voice was on the small side, but improved as the afternoon wore on so that she was doing very well indeed in the fourth act. Mr. Jobin's looks as Romeo were unfortunately not to be compared with yesterday's Juliet. But he made up in vocal power and ability what he lacked in youthful presence as a romantic hero. His voice is a clear, well handled tenor and put across Romeo's love music yesterday with considerable fervor.

The minor roles were exceedingly well taken yesterday. Chief among them were the Friar Lauent of Ezio Pinza and the Mercutio of Martial Singher. Both were beautifully sung and splendidly acted. In fact it was something of a surprise to get both Pinza and Singher in the same opera. A fine vocal performance was also given by Francesco Valentino as Capulet and Frances Greer in Stefano's aria in the third act, sung to good effect.

The first act music was rather spoiled by a peculiarly sleazy looking and ungraceful ballet. It must be current Metropolitan practice to scrimp the ballet in its budget, and hope the audience won't notice or mind. But operas like this one of Gounod are quite dependent on the ballet when dancing is called for, and so must the spectacle as that in the first act, struck a sour note in what was otherwise an admirable production.



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