[Met Performance] CID:85310
Faust {333} Metropolitan Opera House: 11/30/1923.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
November 30, 1923


FAUST {333}
Gounod-Barbier/Carré

Faust...................Giovanni Martinelli
Marguerite..............Frances Alda
Méphistophélès..........Fyodor Chaliapin
Valentin................Lawrence Tibbett
Siebel..................Ellen Dalossy
Marthe..................Kathleen Howard
Wagner..................James Wolfe

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

Director................Armando Agnini
Designer................Joseph Urban

Faust received nine performances this season.


Review of W. J. Henderson in the Sun


A wise writer said, "the leopard cannot change his spots," to which an appropriate answer might be, "No one ever saw a leopard try." But such an assertion should not be made without out consulting Dr. Hornaday. The leopard's spots at any rate may soften their outlines with age. Mr. Chaliapin's Mephistopheles was less exaggerated last evening than it was fifteen years ago. Vocally it was rough and out of style, but the distinguished basso is a Russian artist, not a French one, and he has the artist's privilege to put his own powerful personality into every role.

He indulged in a bit of horseplay with Siebel in the Kermess scene and got the justifying laugh from the audience. And he made his own change of tempo in the "Veau d'or," but had to repeat the second stanza. Nothing succeeds like success, and Mr. Chaliapin's grimness, his savagery and his delineation of sinister power were as influential with his audience as they had been in Boito's work. His Mephistopheles was the outstanding figure in the opera, just as it was fifteen years earlier, when it stood out somewhat like a shooting star in the peaceful firmament of Gounod.

Mme. Alda was the Marguerite last evening. She was in good voice, looked well, and received plenty of applause. Mr. Martinelli's Faust is familiar, a well planned performance, but not among this tenor's happiest achievements. There was a new Valentin, Lawrence Tibbett, a Los Angeles baritone, who sang his music with a light voice of agreeable quality and generally in commendable style. He showed a lack of stage experience. He may acquire some at the Metropolitan. James Wolf made the small role of Wagner unusually prominent. Lastly Mrs. Howard was a capable Marthe.

The chorus may have had a supper planned for after the performance. There was no information to this effect, but that chorus certainly was in a hurry to get the opera finished. Mr. Hasselmans, who conducted, had to "step on it" to catch up. Altogether it was a rather uneven though interesting presentation of "Faust."



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