[Met Performance] CID:82190
Die Tote Stadt {9} Metropolitan Opera House: 11/29/1922.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
November 29, 1922


DIE TOTE STADT {9}
Korngold-P. Schott

Marietta, Marie.........Maria Jeritza
Paul....................Orville Harrold
Brigitta................Marion Telva
Frank...................Gustav Schützendorf
Fritz, Pierrot..........Gustav Schützendorf
Juliette................Raymonde Delaunois
Lucienne................Grace Anthony
Gaston..................Armando Agnini
Victorin................George Meader
Albert..................Angelo Badà

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

Director................Samuel Thewman
Set designer............Hans Kautsky

Die Tote Stadt received four performances this season.

Review of W. J. Henderson in the Herald

Mme. Jeritza Sings in 'Die Tote Stadt'

Korngold's Opera Presented for the First Times This Season at the Metropolitan

In his "Psychoanalysis and Love" the late Andre Tridon declared very solemnly that the hair fetishist was a neurotic and that he felt himself to be an inferior. Which excursion into the department of up to date literature is occasioned by the fact that at the Metropolitan Opera house last evening was given the first performance in the present season of Erich Korngold's hair fetishist opera "Die Tote Stadt."

The hero, it will be recalled is obsessed by adoration for his dead wife and keeps her hair in a shrine. When he runs across a living woman who resembles her not only in the matter of hair but also in walk and conversation, he endeavors to win her and he persuades himself that he has his wife once more. Of course, the living woman turns out to be a very different sort from the departed and the poor fetishist, made to feel an intensified inferiority, becomes more neurotic than ever.

As the living shadow of the past, Mme. Jeritza made her debut last season and was a success which had the misfortune to be overestimated. Last evening's representation of the opera served to prove that this was and remains one of Mme. Jeritza's best achievements, though it may be doubted that it will immortalize the opera of the talented Viennese youth. The Viennese singer was quite as charming as she was last season in this role and that she did not stir up the audience as much as she did them was due wholly to three facts; first that she was no longer a novelty; second that the opera was already aged, and third, that the claque did sufficient work to relieve the public of all superficiality.

There were two changes in the cast, effected by one man. Gustav Schützendorf replaced Mr. Leonhardt as Frank, the friend of the hair fetishist, and also assumed the role of the Pierrot, sung last winter by that promising young artist Mario Laurenti, whose death is to be deeply regretted. Mr. Schützendorf was very good as Frank and sang the Pierrot song very well.

Orville Harrold was once more the neurotic shriner of the hair. The part is difficult. It is exactingly written for the voice. Some of its passages are intolerably devised. But Mr. Harrold at any rate delivers them. Neither he nor any one else would make them beautiful. Miss Telva as the housekeeper, Mr. Bada as the amorous Count, Mmes. Delanois and Anthony, and Messers Agnini and Meader as the players were the secondary singers in the cast, and Mr. Bodanzky conducted.

There need be no further comments on the opera itself. That it contains some very good pages among a mass of pointless vocal writing and overladen and irrelevant orchestration is generally known to operagoers. The action is effective at times and there are some interesting stage pictures. The score sells for many thousands of kronen in Vienna and orchestra chairs are within the reach only of multi-millionaires. Perhaps at the present rate of exchange the score and the seats are worth the money - in Vienna.



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