[Met Performance] CID:52050
United States Premiere
Lobetanz {1} Matinee ed. Metropolitan Opera House: 11/18/1911.
 (United States Premiere)
(Debuts: Oscar Sannee, Hans Kautsky, Georg Heil
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
November 18, 1911 Matinee
United States Premiere


LOBETANZ {1}
Thuille-Bierbaum

Lobetanz................Hermann Jadlowker
Princess................Johanna Gadski
King....................William Hinshaw
Girl....................Lenora Sparkes
Girl....................Anna Case
Forester................Basil Ruysdael
Prisoner................Basil Ruysdael
Prisoner................Julius Bayer
Prisoner................Paolo Ananian
Prisoner................Ludwig Burgstaller
Old Prisoner............Stefen Buckreus
Old Prisoner............Stefen Buckreus
Youth...................Lambert Murphy
Judge...................Herbert Witherspoon
Hangman.................Oscar Sannee [Debut]
Undesignated role.......Marie Mattfeld
Undesignated role.......Lucia Fornaroli

Conductor...............Alfred Hertz

Director................Anton Schertel
Set Designer............Hans Kautsky [Debut]
Costume Designer........Georg Heil [Debut]

Lobetanz received seven performances this season.

Review of Henry E. Krehbiel in the New York Tribune

An opera new to the local stage was produced at the Metropolitan Opera House yesterday afternoon. It was "Lobetanz," words by a German poet of no mean fame, called Otto Julius Bierbaum, music by a composer practically unknown to America, named Ludwig Thuille. To concede the first matinée of the season to a new work, and that a German one, was something of a stroke in operatic management. Its real or imagined significance ought not to be judged hastily. It is an old story that a Saturday matinée audience accepts everything offered; it cannot be frightened away by a work that has grown stale, so long as popular names be hitched to it, and it can always be counted upon to welcome a new work if for no other reason that it comes out on a Saturday afternoon. Yesterday's audience was more than kindly in its acceptance of the new opera. It would be comforting to know the reason why. There is an old joke familiar to musical journalists to the effect that a (probably envious) confrerre once remarked to a friend in Vienna that Herr Speidel, a respected critic, would gladly give a dollar or so if he only knew what he thought of the performance. A joke, of course; sometimes there is truth in a joke. What kind of judgment was possible after the fall of the curtain in the last act of "Lobetanz" yesterday? The opera had begun as one which was going to appeal to romantic emotions. It was reminiscent of everything that the public knew about sentimental opera. That worked no serious harm. What if there were the Flower Maidens and the interloper Parsifal in the first act, and after that the meeting of a dozen or fifteen Beckmessers singing in grotesque mimicry of the gathering of the minstrels at the Wartburg? Thus the opera began. It ran into tragedy - portentous, solemn, heavy-hearted. Still it was possible to enjoy the skill of the two authors in using the inventions of Wagner. But when after its most original and musically beautiful score it ran out into the notion which obsesses the minds of the musicians who write waltz operettas for upper Broadway: there was nothing to do but to go home and reflect on the question whether or not Signor Gatti had really done anything for German opera in producing "Lobetanz." The question is deserving of serious consideration.

The new opera has been beautifully clothed, and the best of the German voices of the company have been enlisted in its performance. But in producing "Lobetanz" the management pays the compliment to the German contingent among its patrons of assuming that the work, rather than its performers, will make a popular appeal, The performance yesterday did much to make that appeal eloquent. High, artistic instincts would not, perhaps, have chosen so prosaic an artist as Mme. Gadski, no matter how skillfully she sings the music set down for the character, to impersonate such an ethereal creature as the Princesss; but "business," it may be fancied, called for a name. A singer of less repute but more appropriate physical and artistic characteristics might have done better. But a singer and actor better fitted than Herr Jadlowker for the principal part (and "Lobetanz" is a tenor's opera) could scarcely be found - one so ingratiating in song and graceful in appearance and action. Miss Sparkes deserves also to be remembered in this cursory mention, but for the rest let the record of the cast suffice, in addition to an expression of admiration for the beautiful stage pictures and the fine work of Mr. Hertz, who had some reward in the recalls.



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