[Met Performance] CID:89420
Roméo et Juliette {133} Academy of Music, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 02/17/1925.

(Review)


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
February 17, 1925


ROMÉO ET JULIETTE {133}

Roméo...................Edward Johnson
Juliette................Queena Mario
Frère Laurent...........Léon Rothier
Stéphano................Raymonde Delaunois
Mercutio................Giuseppe De Luca
Benvolio................Max Altglass
Gertrude................Henriette Wakefield
Capulet.................William Gustafson
Tybalt..................George Meader
Pâris...................Millo Picco
Grégorio................Paolo Ananian
Duke of Verona..........Louis D'Angelo

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

Review signed S. L. L. in the Philadelphia Public Ledger

DREARY OPERA PUT ON AT THE ACADEMY

Many Persons Leave Before "Romeo et Juliette" Comes to an End

SINGERS DO THEIR BEST

Gounod's "Romeo et Juliette." One of the most uninteresting and insincere operas ever written, was the offering of the Metropolitan Opera Company, of New York, to the long-suffering Philadelphia opera public last night at the Academy of Music. And that despite the fact that some of the greatest operatic masterpieces are being superbly given in New York at the present time. A large proportion of the audience failed to remain to the close of the dreary fifth act. Romeo in this act must certainly have taken a slow poison and the Juliette of the evening stabbed herself to the heart on the right-hand side of the body.

The whole performance was just about as interesting as the music. Gounod achieved a great success in the last act of "Faust" with a recollection of the Kermess scene, when the heroine and the rejuvenated and wicked Faust met for the first time. That was a masterpiece of imagination, because it fitted the situation, but to introduce the meretricious "waltz" music of the first act in what should be the solemnity of the tomb scene of "Romeo et Juliette" is little short of a travesty. This is only one of the inconsistencies and the absurdities of the score of "Romeo." Gounod (were that chronologically possible) should have written this act after he had seen and heard the closing act of "L'Amore dei tre re."

A lot of sincere and artistic work was done in the performance, Queena Mario was a personable Juliette and her vocal work grew better as the opera progressed. The same may be said of the Romeo of Edward Johnson. Both brought to the opera the appearance and the spirit of youth, and both did the best work of the evening in the fourth and fifth acts.

George Meader, always a ferocious tenor, displayed unusual savagery (and did some real singing) in the role of the blood-seeking Tybolt, and his death scene was a masterpiece of acting. Also it reduced the characters of the opera by one for the remainder of the performance.

The other roles were taken by Raymonde Delaunsois, who was fine as the Page, a character introduced by the librettists for some unknown reason; Leon Rothier, who at times had his own troubles with the pitch, as Friar Lawrence; Giuseppe de Luca as Mercutio, in which role he exhibited more vocal technique than he possesses with the sword in the fight scene; Max Altglass as Benvolio, Millo Picco as Paris, Paolo Ananian as Gregorio, who with his roisters most unseemly breaks into the balcony scene; William Gustafson as Capulet and Louis D'Angelo as the Duke. Mr. Hasselmans conducted.



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