[Met Performance] CID:82090
Der Rosenkavalier {29} Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York, Brooklyn: 11/21/1922.

(Review)


New York, Brooklyn
November 21, 1922


DER ROSENKAVALIER {29}

Octavian.....................Maria Jeritza
Princess von Werdenberg......Florence Easton
Baron Ochs...................Paul Bender
Sophie.......................Marie Sundelius
Faninal......................Gustav Schützendorf
Annina.......................Kathleen Howard
Valzacchi....................Angelo Badà
Italian Singer...............Orville Harrold
Marianne.....................Grace Anthony
Mahomet......................Virginia Gitchell
Princess' Major-domo.........Pietro Audisio
Orphan.......................Laura Robertson
Orphan.......................Grace Bradley
Orphan.......................Henriette Wakefield
Milliner.....................Muriel Tindal
Animal Vendor................Raffaele Lipparini
Notary.......................William Gustafson
Leopold......................Giordano Paltrinieri
Faninal's Major-domo.........Augusto Monti
Innkeeper....................George Meader
Police Commissioner..........Carl Schlegel

Conductor....................Artur Bodanzky

Review (unsigned) in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle

OPERA IN BROOKLYN

Last night's audience at the performance of Richard Strauss' "Rosenkavalier" at the Academy of Music was even larger than the one at "Traviata" on the [first] night a week ago (this is official), which is a pretty good indication that the appreciation of opera in Brooklyn is growing.

The performance itself was an improvement of the one at the Metropolitan last Friday, for everything moved with more smoothness and surety, the singers were most accustomed to one another's stage business and played up to each other better. Mr. Bodanzky understands the art of subordinating the orchestra to the singers as do few conductors, and so even Strauss' elaborate and full orchestration did not swamp the voices at any time. He brought out all the beautiful details of the orchestral color in masterly fashion, especially such exquisite bits as the motive of the silver rose which is first heard at the entrance of Octavian as the "Rose Bearer" (Rosenkavalier) at the beginning of the second act. The waltz passages scattered with a lavish hand throughout the whole score, were played with all the Viennese swing that a true Viennese can impart to them.

The first place among the singers (place aux damea!) must be awarded to that sterling artist, Florence Easton, who sang the part of the Princess Werdenberg with lavish beauty of tone, with dramatic intensity, and with eloquent declamation. She looked every inch the aristocrat, especially in contrast to her boorish kinsman, and in the scenes with Octavian she made it seem the most natural thing in the world that a seventeen-year old boy could be in passionate love with a woman more than twice his age. Octavian seems to be one of Mme. Jeritza's best parts - she is the cavalier to perfection and carries out the comedy in such a manner as to make it thoroughly understood even without the aid of the text. Her voice, unfortunately, is too near Mme. Easton's in timber for the requisite contrast. The smaller auditorium of the Academy, by the way, is much more suited to any comedy than the vast spaces of the Metropolitan Opera House. When Wagner built his theater for the performances of the "Ring" he wanted the action to be seen in its full detail by everyone, and the auditorium of the Bayreuth Theater seats only a few more than a thousand. The Academy seats more than that, of course, but it is so well arranged that practically all the seats are in intimate view of the stage, and this is a great advantage in any opera, particularly in a comic opera like the present. Mme. Jeritza's comedy, too, is of a particularly intimate sort, and one can keep one's attention riveted on Octavian and still see what is happening on the rest of the stage - which cannot be done if one's sweep of view is restricted by the limited field of an opera glass. Mme. Jeritza, a woman, as a young man disguised as a young woman (great is paradox!) managed the double reversible disguise in such a clever manner that one was in continual chuckle of delight. Mme. Sundelius, as Sophie, Fanninal's daughter, was a delight to eye and ear. Her rejection of the unwelcome advances of the Baron Ochs, her "love at first sight" of the gallant and cavalierly Octavian, all the details of her acting were most praiseworthy, and her lovely voice added to the effectiveness of the part.

Paul Bender, as the Baron Ochs of Lerchenau (Anglsize, the Baron Ox of Larkmeadow) confirmed the good impression he made on his first appearance, and made one regret more than ever that he is not to be seen as Hans Sachs this season. The part of Baron Ochs is a low comedy part, to be sure, and perhaps Mr. Bender does seem a little too good natured - as one critic described him - but when things were going his way - and they seemed to (to him) a good deal of the time - he would naturally be considerably pleased with himself. But when annoyances began to harass him, he showed his pettiness quite as effectively as Mr. Goritz ever did. Mr. Bender's voice is one of rich, sonorous power and when he can be heard in a heroic role it will be much more within its sphere.

Gustav Schützendorf was again the Faninal, and sang and acted with unction the part of a nouveau riche, who has ambitions to belong to the aristocracy; his make-up was by no means the least effective detail of his impersonation. Angelo Bada was the Valzacchi, and he played the part with a comic seriousness that made it stand out from among a whole stage full of variously occupied characters - during a part of the first act there is more than a three-ring circus going on. His partner, too, Kathleen Howard as Annima, vied with him in the subtlety of her intrigue. Orville Harrold, as "the singer," delivered his Italian aria in the first act in his best manner. Grace Anthony as Marianne, Carl Schlegel as the Commissary of Police, Pietro Audisio and Augusto Marti as the two Major Domos, William Gustafson as the Notary, George Meader as the Innkeeper, Laura Robertson, Grace Anthony, and Henrietta Wakefield as the "three noble orphans," Muriel Tindal as the Milliner, Giordano Paltrinieri as a flunky, Raphael Lipparini as an animal vender and Virginia Orchelli as the little negro boy, all contributed to the ensemble in a manner that left little to be desired. In short, it was a thoroughly excellent performance from every point of view. William von Wymental, the new stage director, was doubtlessly responsible for many of the good points in the production, but as he was neither seen nor heard it is difficult to appraise his exact share in the representation.



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