[Met Performance] CID:86450
Mona Lisa {7} Metropolitan Opera House: 02/18/1924.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
February 18, 1924


MONA LISA {7}
Schillings-Dovsky

Wife, Fiordalisa........Barbara Kemp [Last performance]
Tourist, Francesco......Michael Bohnen
Monk, Giovanni..........Curt Taucher
Pietro..................Carl Schlegel
Sandro..................William Gustafson
Masolino................Louis D'Angelo
Alessio.................Max Bloch
Arrigo..................George Meader
Dianora.................Ellen Dalossy
Ginevra.................Frances Peralta
Piccarda................Marion Telva

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

Director................Samuel Thewman
Set designer............Hans Kautsky
Costume designer........Mathilde Castel-Bert

Mona Lisa received one performance this season.

Review of F. D. Perkins in the Tribune

Author Husband Hears Kemp in His 'Mona Lisa'

Composer and Star, Wed Since Opera's Bow Here Last March, Get Warm Welcome at Metropolitan

Bohnen in Villain Role

"Mona Lisa," which was introduced to this country by the Metropolitan Opera Company last March 1, was re-introduced at the Metropolitan last night, with Barbara Kemp making her first appearance of the season as the subject of the Da Vinci brought out on the operatic stage in Beatrice Dovsky's libretto. Since her five appearances in this role year Mme. Kemp had married the composer of the opera, Max Schillings, who is the director of the Berlin State Opera, and Mr. Schillings also was present last night, appearing before the curtain to acknowledge the applause and gallantly to kiss his wife's hand during the last curtain call.

Score Fails to Support Plot

Even with these interesting additional touches, the opera left much the same impression as last year; a good plot not particularly well handled and music which, on the whole, failed to take advantage of that plot's possibilities. Much of the time it was merely incidental, seldom heightening the effect of the action, more often seeming tedious and arid. What it left in the memory more than anything else was the superfortissimo just before the epilogue. Mme. Kemp, as before, achieved a notable likeness to the Da Vinci picture. Dramatically effective at times, she seemed to play a rather passive part as Lisa's brutal husband (Mr. Bohnen) hurled his taunts.

Mr. Bohnen played his role with gusto, portraying a thorough melodramatic villain, with a laugh which, in English, would have been 'Har! Har!" As before, with much that was effective, it was rather overdone, with a certain stagy, cinematographic quality. There was no Italian finesse in the mental torture which Francesco inflicts upon Lisa in that prolonged latter part of the first act.

Mr. Taucher, reappearing as the young monk of the prologue and epilogue and Giovanni in the main part of the opera, did commendable work, while the other singers in last year's premiere reappeared yesterday; Frances Peralta as Ginevra, Ellen Dalossy as Diamora, Marion Telva as Picarda, George Meader as the cheerful Arrigo and Messers. Gustafson, Schlegel, Bloch and D'Angelo. Mr. Bodanzky conducted.



Added Index Entries for Subjects and Names


Back to short citation(s).