[Met Performance] CID:70210
Faust {301} Matinee ed. Metropolitan Opera House: 11/30/1918.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
November 30, 1918 Matinee


FAUST {301}
Gounod-Barbier/Carré

Faust...................Giovanni Martinelli
Marguerite..............Frances Alda
Méphistophélès..........Léon Rothier
Valentin................Robert Couzinou
Siebel..................Raymonde Delaunois
Marthe..................Kathleen Howard
Wagner..................Paolo Ananian
Dance...................Rosina Galli
Dance...................Giuseppe Bonfiglio

Conductor...............Pierre Monteux

Director................Richard Ordynski
Designer................Joseph Urban

Faust received nine performances this season.

Review (unsigned) in the Brooklyn Standard Union

ALDA AS MARGUERITE

The huge audience which marks all Saturday matinees these days, but which was a shade larger, if possible, yesterday afternoon because of "Faust," as it entered learned that, because of a "sudden indisposition," Farrar was unable to appear and, therefore, Alda would take her place. Nobody minded, for Farrar is not at her best in this part which she considers "stupid," despite the fact that its music and story perennially thrill millions. Besides Mme. Alda, in the quaintest of maidenly caps, as wide and much the shape of a broad Alsatian bow, though a filmy thing of white lace, was the ill-starred little German maiden to the life; young looking, seeming scarcely twenty and beautiful in her own rich way. Alda is handsome on the stage and off - to say nothing of her lovely singing, which has improved so wonderfully in the past few years, thanks to her temperament and her persistence; one can hardly believe it without seeing and hearing. Also, she found a congenial coadjutor in Martinelli, a really impressive Faust at last, one who know how to choose his colors, who sings like an angel, and who in the duel scene, acted as if his heart were near breaking that he had to kill so cruelly his dear sweetheart's brother. The part of Valentin was extraordinarily well acted and sung yesterday by Couzinou, the new French baritone, who has been seen only as Athanael in "Thais" so far and who in both roles gives an excellent account of himself. The "Bravest Heart" aria in the first act was delivered exquisitely, provoking loud applause, and his death also proved effective - he is as fine an artist as the several French baritones who have preceded him in this house, from Lasalle and Maurel to Renaud. Delaunois, as Siebel, looked, as usual, the girl in boy's clothes, while Kathleen Howard made a stately, rather than a comic, Marthe.

But with "Faust" the play's the thing, the opera as a whole. How the eyes of our grandmothers would have glistened at such a setting as comes quite casually nowadays! Every scene was worthwhile - all designed and painted by Urban; and that big banquet hall in the Walpurgis night, which at the première of the new investiture gave us a chill, so white and bare it looked, has been replaced (after the mysterious first view of the devil's quarters from without) by a beguiling woodland scene, where various maidens constituting the ballet deported themselves yesterday, while Rosina Galli and the devoted Bonfiglio, both the best of their kind since Pavlova and Mordkin, held the center of the stage. What a charming artist Galli is! Far more so than the cold singer of the same patronymic over whom the populace raves - this flower-like thing of grace and beauty, of free movement and rosy glow, an asset to any operatic house.

Under Monteux the opera lasted long, too long, alas! At 5:30 the Walpurgis ballet was not finished and the prison scene yet to come. But that just suits those who dine at 7 and do live in Brooklyn.



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