[Met Performance] CID:76750
Metropolitan Opera Premiere
Louise {1} Matinee ed. Metropolitan Opera House: 01/15/1921.
 (Metropolitan Opera Premiere)
(Debut: Giuseppe Sterzini, Triangle Studio

Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 15, 1921 Matinee
Metropolitan Opera Premiere


LOUISE {1}
Charpentier-Charpentier

Louise..................Geraldine Farrar
Julien..................Orville Harrold
Mother..................Louise Bérat
Father..................Clarence Whitehill
Blanche.................Alice Miriam
Marguerite..............Mary Mellish
Suzanne.................Marie Tiffany
Gertrude................Flora Perini
Irma....................Raymonde Delaunois
Camille.................Ellen Dalossy
Élise...................Anne Roselle
Madeleine...............Edna Kellogg
Errand Girl.............Mary Ellis
Forewoman...............Gladys Axman
Ragpicker...............Paolo Ananian
Young Ragpicker.........Frances Ingram
Coal Gatherer...........Elvira Leveroni
Noctambulist............Rafaelo Díaz
Newsgirl................Margaret Farnam
Junkman.................Louis D'Angelo
Milkwoman...............Minnie Egener
Policeman...............Vezio Righi
Policeman...............Giuseppe Sterzini [Debut]
Street Arab.............Mary Ellis
Streetsweeper...........Gladys Axman
Painter.................Vincenzo Reschiglian
Sculptor................Millo Picco
Songwriter..............Mario Laurenti
Student.................Giordano Paltrinieri
Poet....................Pompilio Malatesta
Philosopher.............Robert Leonhardt
Philosopher.............Pietro Audisio
Apprentice..............Georges Barates
Chairmender.............Marion Telva
Peddler.................Mario Laurenti
Artichoke Vendor........Marie Sundelius
Birdfood Vendor.........Mary Mellish
Carrot Vendor...........Giordano Paltrinieri
Old Clothes Man.........Angelo Badà
Pope of Fools...........Rafaelo Díaz
Dance...................Florence Rudolph

Conductor...............Albert Wolff

Director................Samuel Thewman
Set designer............James Fox
Set designer............Triangle Studio [Debut]
Costume designer........Triangle Studio
Costume designer........Mathilde Castel-Bert

Louise received eight performances this season.

[James Fox designed the sets for Act I and for Act II, Scene 2; Triangle Studio was responsible for the other scenes.]


Review of Richard Aldrich in The New York Times

For the first time Charpentier's opera of "Louise" was given at the matinee performance at the Metropolitan Opera House yesterday. The audience was very large and full of curiosity and interest to witness a performance in which Mme. Farrar made her first appearance as the wayward heroine, and Messrs. Harrold and Whitehill and Mme. Bérat took the other leading parts. It was apparently pleased with the results and was liberal in its applause.

"Louise" has, of course, been well known to New York operagoers for twelve years, ever since the first production by Mr. Hammerstein at the Manhattan Opera House with a notable cast -Miss Garden, Messrs. Dalmores and Gilibert and Mme. Bressler-Gianoli. It had numerous performances in the four years of Mr. Hammerstein's operatic experience, and it has been heard since in New York from the visiting Chicago Opera Company. So the adoption of "Louise" into the repertory of the Metropolitan Opera Company is not so momentous an event as it might have been ten or a dozen or fifteen years ago.

It was thought by the guiding spirits of the Metropolitan Opera House in the years immediately following the first success of "Louise" in Paris in 1900 that the opera was too local, too restricted in its interests, too "Parisian" to please a New York audience. How mistaken this idea was the recent operatic history of this city has demonstrated. Whether New York knows its Paris better than the guiding spirits supposed or whether the "Parisian" note of the opera is only a detail overlying an appeal much wider than the municipal limits of the French capital does not much matter. The fundamental idea, pathetic and tragic, of Charpentier's opera is universal; it is expressed in a guise purely local. It has made a full record of its appeal to a widely extended interest and sympathy, and no doubt a substantial addition to that record will be made at the Metropolitan Opera House

And yet it occurred to some that the musical substance of "Louise" was beginning to show signs of age and the touch of time. It never seemed, even on its first hearing, that the music had a strong fiber of originality. It leans too much on Wagner, on Gounod, on some of the Italians who were young when "Louise" was. If the music shows signs of age, under such circumstances, it can hardly excite surprise. The ingenuity of the composer in his thematic developments, his orchestration, often rich, and his application of local color can still command admiration. The performance was one that reflected credit on the management in many respects. An enormous cast was required, which in the main was effectively filled.

Of course Mme. Farrar's impersonation of the heroine was looked for with interest and curiosity. It is the kind of part that is well adapted to her. She makes it an interesting and characteristic study, with especial power in the last act in the conflict with her father. As to how far she reproduces the essential nature and emotions of the Parisian girl that Charpentier drew, there may be some question. It may confidently be expected, however, that Mme. Farrar will elaborate and intensify the impersonation that she disclosed yesterday, as she has so often done with so many of her parts.

Julien is no strongly marked or characterized figure in the opera; Mr. Harrold made a plausible exposition of it and sang the music with sufficient ardor and vocal power. Much more marked and characterized is that of the unnamed father, the most sympathetic and appealing personage of the opera. He was well represented by Mr. Whitehill, with a full suggestion of the bonhomie and affection, and then of the despairing pathos of the final scene, and with an excellent delivery of the music; though memories of the genial and poignant impersonation of Charles Gilibert would not down. And Mme. Louise Bérat gave an admirable representation of the unsympathetic mother.

The rest of the cast, which looks like a roster of the Metropolitan Company, was in various degrees capable. Mr. Wolff conducted, and made the performance move with life and dramatic energy. The stage settings were appropriate and as true to the scenes represented as may he expected, especially the street at the foot of Montmartre and the view of Paris, from the slope of that eminence, in the sunset light, then illuminated as the dusk comes on. The chorus in the scene at Julien's house was vigorous; the bustling crowd and its merrymaking were well depicted. The vivacious chattering and antics of the seamstresses in the dressmaking establishment, a difficult ensemble, were also successfully carried out._



Added Index Entries for Subjects and Names


Back to short citation(s).