[Met Performance] CID:71300
Metropolitan Opera Premiere (Mireille)
Mireille {1}

Petrouchka {5}
Metropolitan Opera House: 02/28/1919.
 (Metropolitan Opera Premiere)
(Debut: Victor Maurel
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
February 28, 1919


Metropolitan Opera Premiere

MIREILLE
{1}
Gounod-Carré

Mireille................Maria Barrientos
Vincent.................Charles Hackett
Taven...................Kathleen Howard
Ourrias.................Clarence Whitehill
Ramon...................Léon Rothier
Ambroise................Paolo Ananian
Shepherd................Raymonde Delaunois
Clémence................Lenora Sparkes

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

Director................Richard Ordynski
Designer................Victor Maurel [Debut]
Choreographer...........Rosina Galli

[See review below.]


PETROUCHKA {5}

Petrouchka...............Adolph Bolm
Ballerina...............Rosina Galli
Moor....................Giuseppe Bonfiglio
Charlatan...............Ottokar Bartik
Merchant................Armando Agnini
Street Dancers..........Queenie Smith
Street Dancers..........Florence Rudolph
Gypsies.................Lilyan Ogden
Gypsies.................Jessie Rogge
Nurses..................Leah Roux [Last performance]
Nurses..................Florence Burns
Grooms..................Alexander Umansky [Last performance]
Grooms..................Senia Solomonoff [Last performance]
Piano...................Alessandro Scuri

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

Review of Max Smith in the American:

Gounod's opera "Mireille," book by Jules Barbier and Michael Carre, had its first hearing in the Metropolitan Opera House last night.

Though sung in French it differed considerably from the original work with its spoken dialogue as produced on March 19, 1864 at the Theatre Lyrique in Paris. Nor did it conform to the revision adopted in 1881 at the Opera Comique.This pretty, if old-fashioned, setting of Mistral's famous Provencal poem, "Mimio," had never been given before in New York with the French text. At the last previous performance, which took place in the Academy of Music thirty-four years ago, as also at the premiere on December 18, 1884, in Brooklyn, an Italian adaptation, entitled "Mireille," was employed.

Interest in last night's production of this almost obsolete opera did not center entirely on Gounod's music and the singing of the members of an excellent cast. The scenery, painted by Pieretto Bianco and James Fox, had been designed by Victor Maurel, himself a son of Provence.

Over the score of "Mireille" the writer cannot wax enthusiastic, though he recognizes that it contains more than a few pages which have charm and grace when considered by themselves without reference to the play. The music is pleasing on the whole though to modern ears it seems somewhat outmoded. But it never grips the feelings nor sets the heart strings in vibration.

The reception accorded to "Mireille" last night cannot be truthfully described as enthusiastic. The outbursts of applause for the singers, especially for Mme. Barrientos and for Charles Hackett were quite evidently personal tributes of admiration. After the finale of the second act, which includes some of the most dramatic music of the score, Mmes. Barrientos and Howard and Messers Hackett, Whitehill, Rothier and Ananian were called repeatedly before the curtain.

As the fifteen-year-old Provencal maiden of Mistral's story - a role in which another Spanish prima donna, Adelina Patti, won some of her greatest successes - Mme. Barrientos triumphed over all technical difficulties. Not once, even by a hair's breadth, did she miss the correct pitch. Ingenious or girlish her portrait could hardly be called. Moreover, she and Monsieur Monteux seemed to have differences of opinion as to how freely Gounod's melody should be treated. But Mme. Barrientos brought considerable dramatic skill to her impersonation, especially in the concluding pages of the second act, even if she did not achieve the seemingly impossible task of injecting vital interest into the heroine of this pastoral drama.

Charles Hackett was a youthfully appealing figure as Vincent. Forceful and dignified. Leon Rothier as Ramon put to his credit one of the best achievements of the evening. Excellent too, was Ananian in the small part of Ambrose, and Kathleen Howard gave satisfaction as Taven. Clarence Whitehill, the Ourrias, will be heard to greater advantage, no doubt, in future performances. Praise is due, also to Raymonde Delaunois for her performances of the pretty air of the Shepherd.

Following the production of "Mireille" there was a repetition of "Petruschka," with the usual cast of dancers.



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