[Met Performance] CID:83540
Manon {74} Metropolitan Opera House: 03/7/1923.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
March 7, 1923


MANON {74}

Manon...................Thalia Sabanieeva
Des Grieux..............Mario Chamlee
Lescaut.................Giuseppe De Luca
Count des Grieux........Léon Rothier
Guillot.................Angelo Badà
Brétigny................Millo Picco
Poussette...............Ellen Dalossy
Javotte.................Grace Anthony
Rosette.................Marion Telva
Innkeeper...............Paolo Ananian
Guard...................Vincenzo Reschiglian
Guard...................Pietro Audisio
Maid....................Maria Savage

Conductor...............Louis Hasselmans

Review of W. J. Henderson in the Herald

New Singer Heard in Role of Manon

Mme. Sabanieeva, Soprano, Has Second Performance at the Metropolitan and Proves Worthy Singer.

Massenet's "Manon" was repeated at the Metropolitan Opera House last evening. The audience was of fair size and seemed to be entirely satisfied with the performance. This may be read as the reader chooses, either as supreme laudation of the manner in which Massenet's score was interpreted or a poorly disguised and perhaps impertinent sniff at the taste of the audience. There has been much discussion of public taste of late, in spite of the warning issued by the ancients "de gustibus non est disputandum." Therefore let that pass. The incident of last evening's performance was the appearance of Mme. Thalia Sabanieva as Manon.

This young soprano lately made her debut in "Madama Butterfly," and last night was heard for the second time. It seems that she was born in Athens and studied vocal art in Petrograd. She sang in Russia, but grim war chased her southward, and in the course of time she entered the "sanctum sanctorum" of opera, Milan, where Mr. Gatti-Casazza heard her and promptly engaged her for the Metropolitan Opera House.

Miss Sabanieeva will without doubt be a familiar picture on the Metropolitan stage. She is pleasing to the eye, knows the routine of the stage and performs stage business with grace and composure, if not with compelling illusion. She has her moment of abandon and even of pathos as she had in Cio-Cio-San's death scene, and in her expression of tender pathos. Her voice is not large, not is it one of rich dramatic color, but it is pleasing and proved to be quite well suited to the music of Massenet's opera. Undoubtedly the soprano was nervous, for especially in the first scene she sang flat quite frequently, but vivaciously gave variety to her wanderings by sometimes singing sharp. But this seemed to arouse much enthusiasm.

Mario Chamlee was Chevalier des Grieux. His interpretation of the role is so familiar that it calls for no comment. Mr. de Luca was once more the Lescaut. Mr. Rothier repeated his dignified version of the elder des Grieux and Millo Picco enacted De Bretigny, the gentleman who stole Manon from her first lover. Mr. Hasselmans conducted and gave the proper movement to the score.



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