[Met Performance] CID:37060
La Bohème {35} Metropolitan Opera House: 02/22/1906.

(Plançon sang La Marseillaise between Acts II and III
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
February 22, 1906


LA BOHÈME {35}

Mimì....................Bessie Abott
Rodolfo.................Enrico Caruso
Musetta.................Bella Alten
Marcello................Antonio Scotti
Schaunard...............Taurino Parvis
Colline.................Marcel Journet
Benoit..................Eugène Dufriche
Alcindoro...............Arcangelo Rossi
Parpignol...............Giovanni Paroli
Sergeant................Felice Foglia
Officer.................Gaetano Fanelli

La Marseillaise [between Acts II and III]
Pol Plançon

Conductor...............Arturo Vigna


Review in The New York Times:

PLANÇON SINGS "MARSEILLAISE"

Thousands of Patriotic Frenchmen Join Heartily in the Chorus.

'LA BOHÈME' THE OPERA SUNG

Marcel Journet's Portrayal the One Genuine Touch in the Piece.

Plançon sang the "Marseillaise" last night before a few thousand Frenchmen and Frenchwomen. The rest of the singers engaged for the evening sang "La Bohème" before the same few thousand French men and women. Plançon was Act II B.

After the famous café scene, in which Musette breaks the plates, and Alcindoro, and Marcello hugs the lamp-post, a new play in one act called "La Marseillaise," by Roger de Lisle, and acted by Plançon, was interpolated. The scenery was "a village street." Enter Pol Plançon, elaborately dressed in complete evening outfit, right to center. Thus he starts the "Marseillaise." Everyone stands up, including the Teutonic fiddlers, and the stirring strains of the great French war-melody boom through the house. The tears come into the eyes of Monsieur Charles Henry Meltzer. "It reminds me," says he "of the times when I ate table d'hôte in the Rue de Bac, and bought second-hand books on the Quai Voltaire."

Plançon wildly signals to the house to join in with him. It does, inclusive of Mary Shaw, in white and black and a parterre box, but rather timidly and feebly. M. Maillard, the head of the whole demands more "enthusiasme," which immediately is educed. Ere the Mephisto-Plançon ended excited Frenchwomen bombarded him with bouquets, with roses, and other valuable horticultural adornment. He was finally presented with a laurel wreath which looks like a twisted wooden cucumber. With that he retired happy, patriotic and Gallic.

The audience was a large one and mainly consisted of the better and more cultured class of Frenchmen. To be perfectly candid, Journet and the drum major in the second act seem the only artists in the usual "La Bohème" cast who impart to their characterizations the slightest tinge of French mode or the faintest flash of French feeling.

Caruso is self-conscious and Neapolitan, Scotti is cosmopolitan. Taurino Parvis is Taurinian, Miss Alten - in the name of the gods and small fishes - what is Miss Alten as Musette? She is not trying to be German, because she is conscientiously doing her best to be French. She does not succeed in being a French woman because she is a German. What she does resemble is Eva Pogner after ten years of marriage to Walter von Stoltzing. That is it! She is Mrs. Walter von Stoltzing in Paris with her husband whom she has to keep thoroughly in order. Miss Alten is also much interested in her audience. Thus the one artist who draws a picture that we instinctively feel to be genuine is Marcel Journet. He knows the type he essays to portray and is not vaguely and fantastically guessing at it.

Miss Abbott as Mimi is a sort of very diluted Melba. She still lacks in breadth and power. At any rate she looks young and mimish and for that we thank her from the bottom of our primadonned hearts.



Added Index Entries for Subjects and Names


Back to short citation(s).