[Met Performance] CID:88030
Tannhäuser {224} Metropolitan Opera House: 11/5/1924.

(Debut: Mary Bonetti
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
November 5, 1924


TANNHÄUSER {224}
Wagner-Wagner

Tannhäuser..............Rudolf Laubenthal
Elisabeth...............Maria Jeritza
Wolfram.................Clarence Whitehill
Venus...................Jeanne Gordon
Hermann.................Paul Bender
Walther.................George Meader
Heinrich................Max Bloch
Biterolf................Carl Schlegel
Reinmar.................William Gustafson
Shepherd................Raymonde Delaunois
Page....................Mary Bonetti [Debut]
Page....................Minnie Egener
Page....................Louise Hunter
Page....................Charlotte Ryan

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

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

Tannhäuser received five performances this season.

Review of guest critic (UK) Ernest Newman in the Post

"Tannhäuser" at the Metropolitan

Almost every one's tempo in "Tannhäuser" last night was exceedingly slow except Mr. Clarence Whitehill's (as Wolfram). One result of this was to make Wagner seem even more leaden-footed than usual; another was to make it very difficult for the wind players to sustain a long phrase legato. But though under this treatment the tedious parts of the opera became, at times, a grievous burden, as a whole the performance was impressive.

A good deal of thought has evidently gone to making of Mr. Laubenthal's Tannhäuser; but the processes by which his conception of the part has been built up are too visible, so that the presentation of the character lacks spontaneity. Both vocally and dramatically it would be the better for a good oiling. Intelligent as his work is in both departments, it is all too stiff. Every effect is carried just a shade too far, and so, by calling attention to itself, achieves its own defeat. There is always expression in his singing, but a feeling also of over-emphasis. His movements and gestures are convulsive and angular; and he does not improve matters by maintaining some of his attitudes until they suggest petrifaction.

No one could have learned a great deal in all these respects by studying Mme. Jeritza, who besides singing divinely and moving, when she had to move, like a statue endowed with life, a model of harmonious grace from head to heel, knew also how to be psychologically impressive, while remaining perfectly still. For once we had an Elizabeth in whom we could believe thoroughly. Mme. Jeritza has the art of the long-legato phrase, not only in her singing but in her acting. The finest example she gave me of this was in her long drawn out movement, at the climactic moment in the second act, from the throne to the side of the Landgrave; the one unbroken rhythmic line ran thorough it all.

The rest of the cast (Mr. Bender was the Landgrave and Miss Jeanne Gordon the Venus) did their work well, though Miss Gordon seemed somewhat afraid to open out in her singing. Mr. Bodanzky conducted. The setting and the lighting of the [first] scene were exquisite, and the ballet was graceful, if it did not rise to the delirium of the music in the climax of the bacchanal.



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