[Met Performance] CID:88220
Der Rosenkavalier {37} Metropolitan Opera House: 11/20/1924.

(Debut: Madeline Leweck
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
November 20, 1924


DER ROSENKAVALIER {37}
R. Strauss-Hofmannsthal

Octavian.....................Maria Jeritza
Princess von Werdenberg......Florence Easton
Baron Ochs...................Paul Bender
Sophie.......................Queena Mario
Faninal......................Gustav Schützendorf
Annina.......................Kathleen Howard
Valzacchi....................Angelo Badà
Italian Singer...............Ralph Errolle
Marianne.....................Marcella Röseler
Mahomet......................Madeline Leweck [Debut]
Princess' Major-domo.........Max Altglass
Orphan.......................Nannette Guilford
Orphan.......................Louise Hunter
Orphan.......................Mary Bonetti
Milliner.....................Phradie Wells
Animal Vendor................Raffaele Lipparini
Notary.......................William Gustafson
Leopold......................Ludwig Burgstaller
Faninal's Major-domo.........Raimondo Ditello
Innkeeper....................George Meader
Police Commissioner..........Carl Schlegel

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

Director.....................Wilhelm von Wymetal
Set designer.................Hans Kautsky
Costume designer.............Alfred Roller

Der Rosenkavalier received two performances this season.

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

"Der Rosenkavalier"

Last night's performance of "Der Rosenkavalier" left nothing to the imagination of the spectator. The assumption apparently was that we in front were a rather dull-witted lot of people who could not be trusted to see a point unless it was so thickened that it ceased to be a point and become a blob. What should have been done with the tips of the fingers was entrusted to the whole hand, -- at times to the fist. Not all the thrill that Mme. Jeritza frequently gave us with her singing could compensate us for her persistent turning of the delicate comedy of Octavian's part into broad farce, especially in the third act. The general trouble, indeed, was that hardly anyone was content to let his or her character speak for itself, but must advertise it.

The effect was suggestive of those naïve old pictures in which descriptions of the figures are seen issuing from the mouths of the figures themselves. From Sophie's mouth ( Mme. Queena Mario) came a label "I am the ingénue of the piece"; from Faninal's mouth (Mr. Schützendorf) the label, "Behold in me the parvenu" - only it was, in a phrase, of Liszt's "un de ces parvenus, qui ne parvient pas"; from Valzacchi's mouth (Mr. Bada) came the label, "I am the intriguer of the piece; I never stop intriguing, even on Sundays and holidays.

Mr. Bender's Ochs was also a little rough, but it was consistent and clever, and perhaps the preference for a slightly less bovine Ochs is only a matter of taste. But surely Ochs, for all that he is a vulgarian of the aristocracy. If he is made a mere Tony Lumpkin he becomes indistinguishable from the rabble of boorish helots that follows him; somewhere in an accent or gesture or a point of view we should be made to feel that, however unfit he may be for polished society, he is used to mixing in it. And surely Sophie should suggest to us that, though she is Faninal's daughter, she is going to be Count Octavian's wife.

Where Mme. Mario aimed at ingenuousness she missed the target and hit gaucherie instead. She had, too, that dreadful habit, that seems endemic to the Metropolitan, of standing stock-still near the footlights and addressing her confidential remarks to the spectators. When she delivered herself of that little monologue of the motherless girl that ought to send a pang through our hearts - especially the line "Die Mutter ist tot, und ich bin an allein" we felt that what she was saying was of so intimate a nature that it necessarily had to remain a secret between herself and the whole audience.

Mme. Easton, as the Princess, kept the play to the right atmosphere of refinement. She was a little stolid in the first act, but bore herself with great dignity in the third. Mme. Katherine Howard's Annina was a finely polished piece of work, though her tones were a shade too strong during the reading of the letter; it submerged the delicate outlines of the Rosenkavalier waltz in the orchestra. But the performance as a whole was a little rough and thick-fingered, it could not help being enjoyable; Strauss's exquisite music insured that. Mr. Bodanzky and the orchestra more than once rose to the full height of it.



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