[Met Performance] CID:143060
Faust {455} Metropolitan Opera House: 11/16/1946.

(Debuts: Renée Mazella, Claramae Turner
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
November 16, 1946


FAUST {455}
Gounod-Barbier/Carré

Faust...................Raoul Jobin
Marguerite..............Renée Mazella [Debut]
Méphistophélès..........Ezio Pinza
Valentin................Martial Singher
Siebel..................Maxine Stellman
Marthe..................Claramae Turner [Debut]
Wagner..................John Baker

Conductor...............Louis Fourestier

Director................Désiré Defrère
Designer................Joseph Urban
Set designer............Richard Rychtarik [Act I only]
Choreographer...........Boris Romanoff

Faust received fourteen performances this season.

Review of Noel Straus in The New York Times

'FAUST' PRESENTED FOR U. N. DELEGATES

Representatives to the General Assembly Add Festive Air to Special Performance

With delegations to the General Assembly of the United Nations occupying all the thirty-five parterre boxes and a block of 100 seats in the center of the orchestra floor, the special performance of Gounod's "Faust" last night at the Metropolitan took on a gala aspect. The delegates and other members of the fifty-one nations represented in the Assembly attended the presentation as guests of the officers and board of directors of the Metropolitan Opera Association and of the Metropolitan Opera Guild. By the time the orchestra struck up with the national anthem, just before the rise of the first curtain, the auditorium was, packed, including every available foot of standing room.

New Marguerite Heard

The "Faust" they heard was along regulation lines at the opera house in recent seasons. But it had a new Marguerite in Renee Mazella, and a new Martha, in Claramae Turner, both of whom were making their debuts with the company. Miss Mazella, who has sung at the Paris Opera Comique and in South America, disclosed a clear, agile voice, which she used with accuracy and. expressiveness. But she had difficulty in making the role of Goethe's heroine come to life and hold the attention, though she moved with poise and ease on the stage. And, if her tones had considerable body they were frequently edgy above the clef, and not of particularly distinguished quality.

Miss Turner accomplished some of the most able vocalism of the evening in the comparatively small role of Marthe. Hers is a warm, rich voice, admirably trained. She sang with intelligence and brought a good sense of humor to her histrionism in the part, being droll, and at the same time avoiding any hint of exaggeration.

Also worthy of remark was the vocalism of Maxine Stellman, who appeared for the first time in her career as the Siebel of the cast. She made much of her opportunities in the "Flower Song" and raised the role out of the rut into which it has fallen of late years.

Pinza as Mephistopheles

Ezio Pinza sang Mephistopheles with his accustomed skill, and was again a cynical, rather than a sinister, sort of devil, Raoul Jobin in the name part was not in his best vocal form, his tones sounding hollow in the lower register and being subjected to pushing in the upper reaches of the scale. But he invested his work with ardor. As for the Valentin of Martil Singher, it was manly and serious, though the artist has sung his music in this opera with more distinction at previous appearances.

That the performance did not gather momentum or escape dullness was largely due to the dragged tempi adopted by Louis Fourestier, whose conducting of the work, moreover, lacked fire and intensity, though he kept the melodic line flowing and graceful at all times.



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