[Met Performance] CID:49890
Roméo et Juliette {110} Matinee ed. Metropolitan Opera House: 01/28/1911.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 28, 1911 Matinee


ROMÉO ET JULIETTE {110}

Roméo...................Dmitri Smirnoff
Juliette................Geraldine Farrar
Frère Laurent...........Léon Rothier
Stéphano................Rita Fornia
Mercutio................Dinh Gilly
Benvolio................Pietro Audisio
Gertrude................Marie Mattfeld
Capulet.................Allen Hinckley
Tybalt..................Angelo Badà
Pâris...................Vincenzo Reschiglian
Grégorio................Georges Bourgeois
Duke of Verona..........William Hinshaw

Conductor...............Vittorio Podesti

Review of Charles Henry Meltzer in the American

SMIRNOFF FRENCH MARS PRODUCTION

Geraldine Farrar’s Gauzy Costume in “Romeo et Juliette” Seemed Audacious

Dimitri Smirnoff again sang the part of Romeo to the Juliette of Geraldine Farrar, yesterday afternoon at the Metropolitan in Gounod’s sentimental “Romeo et Juliette,” The house, the smallest so far seen this season at a Metropolitan matinee – seemed much more pleased with the young Russian tenor than his performance warranted. That may have been due partly in its uncritical attitude toward M. Smirnoff’s French, which was as harsh and strange as ever, and partly to the agreeable impression made by the appearance of the singer. To the eye, and also sometimes to the ear, Mr. Smirnoff was most pleasing. But no Frenchman could have pardoned him his perversions of the tongue he sang; and no one who has heard those ideal Romeos, Jean de Reszke and Saleza, could overlook his want of style and ease.

The case of Mr. Smirnoff puzzles one. Here is a young tenor with a charming voice, light and perhaps white, but badly trained. Yet in Monte Carlo where he has sung in Russian and Italian, besides French, he is a celebrity. In Paris he has been warmly welcomed, and in South America, where opera goers are not children, he is popular. Perhaps if had waited for a year or two before braving this spoilt public he would have succeeded here. If he were wise, he would release himself from his engagements, leave the stage and spend the next two years in Paris with some teacher who could help him to perfect his art. Then, I think, he might safely brave our exacting American audiences. The conducting of Mr. Podesti did little to assure a fit performance. It was dull, heavy, and amateurish.

Geraldine Farrar occasionally distressed lovers of French music by the liberties which she took with the tempi of some arias; at other times she delighted them by the daintiness of her phrasing. She was not in her best voice, and the minimalness of her draperies in the balcony scene was startling in its audacity. The chorus sang with spirit, taste and power, and Rita Fornia once more won deserved applause by her interpretation of the page’s serenade.



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