[Met Performance] CID:58040
Der Rosenkavalier {12} Metropolitan Opera House: 11/20/1914.

(Debuts: Elisabeth Schumann, Alberto Pellaton, Max Bloch
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
November 20, 1914


DER ROSENKAVALIER {12}
R. Strauss-Hofmannsthal

Octavian.....................Margarete Ober
Princess von Werdenberg......Frieda Hempel
Baron Ochs...................Otto Goritz
Sophie.......................Elisabeth Schumann [Debut]
Faninal......................Hermann Weil
Annina.......................Marie Mattfeld
Valzacchi....................Albert Reiss
Italian Singer...............Paul Althouse
Marianne.....................Vera Curtis
Mahomet......................Ruth Weinstein
Princess' Major-domo.........Pietro Audisio
Orphan.......................Louise Cox
Orphan.......................Rosina Van Dyck
Orphan.......................Sophie Braslau
Milliner.....................Frieda Martin
Animal Vendor................Alfred Sappio
Notary.......................Basil Ruysdael
Leopold......................Ludwig Burgstaller
Faninal's Major-domo.........Max Bloch [Debut]
Innkeeper....................Julius Bayer
Police Commissioner..........Carl Schlegel
Undesignated role............Alberto Pellaton [Debut]

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

Director.....................Loomis Taylor
Set Designer.................Hans Kautsky
Costume Designer.............Alfred Roller

Der Rosenkavalier received five performances this season.

Review of Max Smith in the New York Press

Giulio Gatti-Casazza sprang a surprise on those of his subscribers who attended the season's first performance of "Der Rosenkavalier" last night in the Metropolitan Opera House, by introducing to them, in the role of Sophie, the youthful ingenue of Strauss's lyric comedy, one of the most delightful artists he has drawn into his fold in recent years.

No one had any reason to suppose, of course, that Elisabeth Schumann-for that was the name of the new singer-would be unequal to her task. As she had been engaged to fill the place in the company left vacant by Bella Alten, though yesterday she impersonated a part taken by Miss Anna Case. It was a foregone conclusion that the general manager had made a careful choice.

But little news had reached the public of Mme. Schumann's career in Hamburg. Her reputation had not been inflated by artificial stimuli assiduously distributed along the musical Rialto. And so the crowd that listened to her singing last night and showed approval in such emphatic terms at the end of the second act, when she appeared for the first time before the Metropolitan's golden curtain, in line with the other principals, had nothing but words of enthusiasm for the new "star" that had floated quietly into the operatic firmament.

As everyone who had heard Miss Case in "Der Rosenkavalier" must know, the role of Sophie is vocally exceedingly exacting. For Miss Schumann, however, the difficulties had apparently no terrors. With remarkable ease she coped with Strauss's long-  sustained phrases, spinning out her sweetly appealing and expressive tones, even in the loftiest altitudes in a way that could well have served as an object lesson for students of singing.

Miss Schumann's lyric soprano is not large. But it is admirably placed, finely concentrated and supported by an excellent control of breath. At no time last night did the singer force her voice and not once did she wander from the correct pitch. In the duets of the second act with Octavian one almost resented the interference of Margarete Ober, who, as usual, gave a dramatically forceful portrayal of the rose-bearing cavalier, but again indulged in vocal exaggerations that seemed all the more apparent when thrown into juxtaposition with Mme. Schumann's delicate art.

It was not only her singing, however, that the new soprano revealed herself a true artist. Histrionically, her study of Sophie was quite as impressive as vocally, but that phase of her portrayal may be discussed at another time. Her presence in the cast accounted in large part, no doubt, for the marked improvement of the performance of Strauss's opera. Certainly her singing in the final terzet added a great deal to the effectiveness of that beautiful episode, though the plastic and emotionally eloquent playing of the orchestra under the baton of Alfred Hertz fulfilled an important function in the ensemble

Of the other singers it is hardly necessary to speak at length. Elisabeth Schumann's Sophie, Vera Curtis's praise-worthy impersonation Jungfer Marianne-a part the American singer essayed for the first time-and the Haus-hofmeister of Max Bloch, who made his debut, were the only new elements in the performance.

Frieda Hempel, in excellent voice, repeated her admirable portrayal of the Feldmarschallin. Otto Gortiz, also in good form, was a better Baron Ochs than ever before. Hermann Weil once more was the Herr von Faninal. Reiss as Valzacchi, Marie Mattfeld as Annina, Carl Schlegel as the Police Officer, Ruysdael as the Notary, Bayer as the Inn-keeper and Althouse as the Singer were other members of the cast.



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