[Met Performance] CID:86330
Roméo et Juliette {130} Metropolitan Opera House: 02/11/1924.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
February 11, 1924


ROMÉO ET JULIETTE {130}

Roméo...................Armand Tokatyan
Juliette................Amelita Galli-Curci
Frère Laurent...........Léon Rothier
Stéphano................Raymonde Delaunois
Mercutio................Gustav Schützendorf
Benvolio................Giordano Paltrinieri
Gertrude................Henriette Wakefield
Capulet.................William Gustafson
Tybalt..................Rafaelo Díaz
Pâris...................Millo Picco
Grégorio................Paolo Ananian
Duke of Verona..........Louis D'Angelo

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

Review of Henry T. Finck in the Post

'ROMEO AND JULIET' SUNG BY POOR CAST

Gounod's Mellifluous Opera on An Off Night at the Metropolitan

GALLI-CURCI AS JULIETTE

Three years ago Amelita Galli-Curci made her first appearance as Juliette in Gounod's glorious opera in this city. It was at the Manhattan were she appeared with the admirable Chicago Opera Company. It proved to be her best part. Never before, I wrote in my review of that performance, had I heard this popular singer approach so near to perfection in purity of intonation, limpid tone, phrasing and agility of execution. She was evidently inspired by having as her Romeo the great Muratore, the Jean de Reszke of our time. It does make a tremendous difference to a prima donna who is the tenor she associates with. Geraldine Farrar told me many a tale on that subject - usually a sad tale; for as she could fill the house always by the magic of her name and art, why waste a good tenor on the cast?

Mr. Gatti-Casazza did his best to secure a good tenor for Galli-Curci last night. The American Muratore, Edward Johnson, was to have appeared, but as he cannot get rid of his throat trouble, he has been sent South for a few weeks. He will be heard later in the season. His place was taken by Mr. Tokatyan, who, for some reason or other, does not sing nearly as well as he did last season. What's the matter?

The cast included Raymonde Delaunois as Stephano, Henriette Wakefield as Gertrude, Rafaelo Diaz as Tybalt, Paltrinieri as Blenvolle, Schuützendorf as Mercutio, Picco as Paris, Ananian as Gregorio, Gustafson as Capulet, D'Angelo as the Duke, and Leon Rothier, who is always and excellent Friar. A glance at that cast suffices that there are in it three or four singers absolutely unable to sing the mellifluous melodies of Gounod. Awful were the sounds coming from their throats. One thought of a flock of crows, blue jays and guinea hens.

Even Mme. Galli-Curci could not make up for all this bad singing. She herself in fact, had an off-night, her voice not being at its best, nor under complete control as to pitch. But she sang, as always, like a born musician, with taste and expression; her valse was sung brilliantly and the balcony scene was acceptable. In this too, Tokatyan was better than he had been before.

A redeeming feature was the orchestra under Hasselmans, who evidently took delight in demonstrating to the audience how deliciously sweet a thing Gounod's "Romeo et Juliette" is. It reminds one of the sixty thousand acres of fragrant flowers near Grasse in the French Riviera. The audience was a very big one. If I am not mistaken Galli-Curci makes her last appearance this season on Friday afternoon in 'The Golden Cock."



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