[Met Performance] CID:81140
Zazą {23} Matinee ed. Metropolitan Opera House: 04/22/1922.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
April 22, 1922 Matinee


ZAZĄ {23}

Zazą....................Geraldine Farrar [Last performance]
Milio...................Giovanni Martinelli
Cascart.................Giuseppe De Luca
Anaide..................Kathleen Howard
Bussy...................Millo Picco
Natalia.................Minnie Egener
Mme. Dufresne...........Cecil Arden
Totņ....................Ada Quintina
Malardot................Angelo Badą
Floriana................Myrtle Schaaf
Claretta................Eugenie Manetti [Last performance]
Simona..................Veni Warwick [Last performance]
Michelin................Vincenzo Reschiglian
Augusto.................Pietro Audisio
Courtois................Louis D'Angelo
Duclou..................Pompilio Malatesta
Lartigon................Paolo Ananian
Marco...................Giordano Paltrinieri

Conductor...............Roberto Moranzoni

Review in unnamed newspaper:

Farrar Quits Amid Tears and Cheers

Thousands in Crowded Opera House and in Street Take Part in Riotous Demonstration

Flowers and Gems Showered on Diva

500 'Gerryflappers' Wave Banners; Singer Hints She May Join Belasco

The Center of such a demonstration as has never before been known in the annals of the Metropolitan Opera House, Geraldine Farrar left that institution forever yesterday afternoon, after sixteen years of service. In a speech from the stage the diva dropped the hint that she may go into the drama under Belasco.

Long before the performance started the house was packed from floor to ceiling, and even after 2 o'clock a line that stretched well into Seventh Avenue was still making slow but determined progress toward the box office. When tickets and admissions had been exhausted disappointed admirers, chiefly women, many of whom were hysterical, besieged the lobbies and sought to bribe fortunate holders of tickets and house officials for some means of gaining an entrance to the theater. Police were called several times to clear the entrances.

Outside the house the crowd, which began to gather at 4:30 o'clock, had reached mob proportions by 6. Between Broadway and Seventh Avenue, on Fortieth Street, the street was packed from wall to wall with a solid mass of humanity several thousand strong. All faces were turned toward the stage entrance on Fortieth Street, from which it was expected the prima donna would appear.

Carried out Rear Door

The stage was set otherwise however. At the close of the jollification on the stage a rear door on Seventh Avenue opened, and, held aloft in the massive arms of Phil Crispano, the Metropolitan's property man, and Charley Metterhouse, a stage hand, the star appeared on the sidewalk. Two flapper enthusiasts who had been posted on the exact procedure by a friendly stage hand, and a woman who had inside information and a Kodak, were the only individuals in sight prepared for the moment.

Miss Farrar had created at this opera house, Leoncavallo's "Zaza," which has for several seasons served to reveal dual sides of her art, the sensational and the appealing. As was to be expected, she put her heart and soul into the performance. Never was she more eloquent in song and action, and although she saw fit to omit a bit of business in the first act which in the past brought down upon her head the charge of unwarranted vulgarity, she was otherwise fully as flamboyant. Even her Pekinese, Sniffy, was invited to share in the triumph of her farewell, and, ornamented with a blue satin bow was carried onto the stage by his mistress, afterward playing a realistic part in Zaza's dressing room scene.

Having disposed of the sensational moments of the opera with the first act, Miss Farrar turned her attention to the pathetic. As at other performances, she won the tribute of tears in her scene with the child, Toto. With her in the cast were Mr. Martinelli and Mr. De Luca, Miss Howard and Miss Egener, whose individual work contributed largely to a memorable afternoon.

At the close of the first act Miss Farrar was showered with more than forty bouquets. The activities of the "Jerry flappers," however, were redoubled with the ending of each succeeding act. Among conspicuous tributes which found their way to the stage at the end of the second act was a banner bearing the words, "None but you, Gerry! From the Gerry fiappers."

On one of her trips across the stage Miss Farrar decorated Mr. De Luca's buttonhole with a red carnation and kissed him on both cheeks. Mr. Martinelli and Mr. Moranzoni, the conductor of the afternoon, later came in for similar salutations from their departing comrade. The demonstration came close to reaching its climax at the conclusion of the third act, when Miss Farrar was almost snowed under by flowers and wreaths aimed at her from all parts of the house. She also received a crown of pearls and emeralds, which she set upon her head, and a golden sceptre, this regal insignia being conveyed to her across the footlights upon a red velvet cushion. At this point, too, the flag crowded basket of American Beauties and the other art pieces from the Fortieth Street entrance found their way to the stage.

The final climax came at the opera's close, when the band of 500 "Gerry flappers" waved as many pennants bearing the name "Farrar" a huge white pennant proclaiming "Hurrah, Farrar! Farrar, Hurrah," in black letters, was strung across the center of the auditorium and the seething throng which filled the theater shouted and cheered the singer repeatedly Evidently deeply moved, Miss Farrar stepped forward to the footlights and addressed the audience.

"Some twenty years ago," she said, "when I was working and slaving with the hope of some day giving you what it has been possible for me to do during these sixteen years, I prayed that I might some day attain the position of a prophetess in her own country. But I never expected anything like this. There are two people in this house who, although they may be shedding a wee tear, I know are as proud as I am on this glorious day. But I do not want to have a single tear in the house. I will tell you why. Although I am leaving this institution because I wish to, my farewell here does not mean my farewell to you. Just to whet your curiosity I will tell you that there is a gentleman here today named Mr. David Belasco. He is a very tempting gentleman and he has been whispering things in my ear. I send him a kiss, and I will keep our secret for the present. I want to thank not only everyone in this audience, but every member of the company, every gentleman and lady in the chorus and every member o the house staff for helping to make these sixteen years happy, and I ask you to let this be good-by for the present, because I can find no more words to express what I feel."

Miss Farrar's speech was interrupted again and again by cheers, cries of "You deserve all this," and other laudatory comments from all parts of the house, and the white banner was dropped in order to permit spectators a better view of the stage. With proverbial generosity Miss Farrar's withdrawal from the Metropolitan Opera House was marked by gifts and remembrances to associates in the company and members of the house staff. These took the form of articles of dress and jewelry from her operatic wardrobe, while many special souvenirs were given, consisting of watch chains for the men, and bracelets for the women, with Miss Farrar's signature on a gold plaque. The stagehands presented her with a gold vanity case adorned her monogram and marked "With love from the boys of the stage."

A performance of Verdi's "La Forza del Destino" closed the season last evening, with Mmes. Peralta, Delaunois and Anthony and Messrs. Salazar, Denise, Mardones and Chalmers in the cast.



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