[Met Performance] CID:36510
Faust {232} Matinee ed. Metropolitan Opera House: 01/6/1906.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 6, 1906 Matinee


FAUST {232}

Faust...................Enrico Caruso
Marguerite..............Emma Eames
Méphistophélès..........Pol Plançon
Valentin................Antonio Scotti
Siebel..................Josephine Jacoby
Marthe..................Mathilde Bauermeister
Wagner..................Bernard Bégué

Conductor...............Nahan Franko

[The chorus strike ended during this performance and, beginning with the Kermesse scene, the chorus performed the opera. The 1905-06 Profit and Loss Statement and Balance Sheet of the Conried Metropolitan Opera Co. shows that $552.50 was paid to the "Additional Chorus (Strike Breakers)" which were never utilized.]

Review:
The New York Times reported on the event: "Any idea of another 'Faust-Without-A-Chorus' was far from the minds of the music enthusiasts when the curtain went up on the alchemist in his laboratory. Caruso, as Faust, sang his despondency, and was just about to drink the poison cup and end it, when the audience bent their ears and listened. Of course, the chorus was expected to be weak, but - then the truth dawned on them: There was no chorus, after all. The orchestra droned through the measures of the laborers in the fields, Faust went to the casement, let in the sunshine, and listened to imaginary voices, while 'Vox populi' up in the gallery groaned its displeasure.

When Herr Conried stepped out, a bored look swept around the boxes; the parquet murmured its disapproval, while 'Vox Populi' hissed. But Mr. Conried only smiled, waved his hat a little, and shoved his left hand between the first and second buttons of his coat.

"Ladies and gentlemen," he said - and it was not an apologetic voice - "I have great pleasure - " the audience gasped.
" - in announcing to you that the entire chorus is here!"

There was a brief, astonished silence; then the audience burst into applause. Mr. Conried proceeded:

"The chorus has yielded to all my demands, not as a union, but as individuals. It is agreed that the union shall not be recognized. 'The monetary question has been settled. The members of the chorus will receive an increase of salary. I expressed my willingness to do this from the very beginning. The settlement is satisfactory to me, to them and " - bowing again - "I hope to you."

Herr Conried withdrew amid deafening applause which lasted so long that the triumphant director had to make another appearance to acknowledge it. He had hardly withdrawn the second time when the orchestra began the 'Kermesse' scene and the curtain arose upon the entire chorus in the revels of the students at the tavern. The audience gave them a great reception, which lasted for a full minute, during which the members of the chorus, taking advantage of the hilarious parts they happened to be playing, waved their hats and hands at the audience and cheered too. Herr Conried, in expressing his extreme satisfaction in the end of the fight. said

"It is merely a little cloud which has come and passed away, leaving the sunshine brighter than ever.However, it is a good wind that blows nobody ill, for the new chorus which was being trained must now be relegated to the tailor shops and the delicatessen stores where many of its members were discovered. Those who had dreams of operatic glory had their fond hopes blighted just as they were about to be able to say for all time that they had 'sung in Faust.' The bitterest pill was when at the rise of the curtain they were instructed to take off their costumes and hand them back to their original wearers. Some of the new chorus who showed that they had no mean ability will be retained."



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