[Met Performance] CID:19880
Manon {13} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/14/1899.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 14, 1899


MANON {13}
Massenet-Meilhac/Gille

Manon...................Frances Saville
Des Grieux..............Ernest Van Dyck
Lescaut.................Henri Albers
Count des Grieux........Pol Plançon
Guillot.................Eugène Dufriche
Brétigny................Jacques Bars
Poussette...............Maud Roudez
Javotte.................Louise Meisslinger
Rosette.................Marthe Djella

Conductor...............Luigi Mancinelli

Director................Pierre Baudu

Manon received one performance this season.

Unsigned review in The New York Times (W. J. Henderson?)

Massenet's " Manon" had not been heard before last night for several seasons. It was originally heard here in the course of the season when Sibyl Sanderson made her unfortunate venture in her native land. She made her debut in the title rôle, M. Jean de Reszke singing Des Grieux. The work was given once in a subsequent season with Mme. Melba as Manon. Last night it was brought forward with Mme. Frances Saville as Manon and Mr. Ernst Van Dyck as the Chevalier. The audience was one of fair size, but not as large as the occasion seemed to demand. "Manon" is by no means a profound work, but it contains a great deal of graceful, melodious and fascinating music It is probable that if the New York public were more familiar with "Manon," it would wish to hear the work oftener. It is decidedly worthy of more frequent performance.

It was very agreeably done last night. Mr. Van Dyck's reputation as an actor is already established here and it was confidently expected that he would act the Chevalier des Grieux well. In this he did not disappoint, but more than fulfilled expectations. Two such performances as his Loge and his Des Grieux within three days stamp him as an actor of varied powers far beyond those usually exhibited on the operatic stage. He is thoroughly acquainted with the technic of histrionic art and he imbues his work with a fervor and a poetic grace which go far toward atoning for the faults of his singing. In the sentimental comedy of the earlier scenes last night he was simply delightful. In the more passionate episodes his vocal defects marred
the general influence of his performance, which was fervid and full of plastic beauty. Des Grieux has been much better sung here, but never so well acted.

Mme. Saville's Manon was a pretty performance and was deficient chiefly in its pathos. But her voice is well suited to the music and, except for occasional flatness, she sang creditably. She had to repeat her gavotte, which she sang very well, indeed. M. Albers was in very poor voice after his labors at the matinee and he did not sing with his usual lovely quality of tone. But his performance of Lescaut was in other respects commendable. M. Dufriche was very amusing as Guillot and M. Plançon did his little bit as the Comte des Grieux as well as need be. The other members of the cast were M. Bars as De Bretigny; Mme. Djella as Rosette; Miss Roudez, as Pousette; and Miss Meisslinger as Javotte.



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