[Met Performance] CID:89710
Carmen {297} Academy of Music, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 03/10/1925.

(Review)


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
March 10, 1925


CARMEN {297}

Carmen..................Ina Bourskaya
Don José................Edward Johnson
Micaela.................Queena Mario
Escamillo...............Clarence Whitehill
Frasquita...............Laura Robertson
Mercédès................Henriette Wakefield
Remendado...............Giordano Paltrinieri
Dancaïre................Paolo Ananian
Zuniga..................Giovanni Martino
Moralès.................Vincenzo Reschiglian
Dance...................Unknown

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

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

CARMEN GIVEN BY METROPOLITAN

Solo Work Stands Out in Uneven Performance at Academy of Music

Bizet's "Carmen," which was fifty years and one week old yesterday, was the offering of the Metropolitan Opera Company of New York at the Academy of Music last evening, with Ina Bourskaya in the title role, Queena Mario as Micaela, Edward Johnson and Don José and Clarence Whitehill as Escmillo.

The performance was rather uneven, there being the same very high points in the work of the principals and some which were not so good. As a general thing, the solo work was the best and the smaller ensembles the weakest, such as the famous quintet of the second act and trio of the card players of the third, although these are two enormously difficult numbers. The most successful single numbers of the performance were the "Toreador" song of Mr. Whitehill and the exquisite aria of Micaela in the third act, perhaps the finest music of the entire opera. Miss Mario sang the aria superbly, with beautiful tone and control of the voice. Mr. Whitehill was not in the best of voice for some reason, although he sang and acted the role of the swashbuckling bull fighter with great spirit.

Mme. Bourskaya has an individual and apparently nationalistic interpretation of the role of Carmen, as it is not especially Latin in its main characteristics. Also her dancing is more Russian than Spanish. But her voice was fully equal to the demands of the role, notably in the Habanera and Seguidilla of the first act. Dramatically, she was at her best in the third and last acts. Mr. Johnson was a very youthful and handsome Don José, and grew better vocally and dramatically as the opera progressed. His best work was in the last act, which he made very convincing and effective. The lesser roles (very difficult vocally in this opera) were admirably taken by Laura Robertson as Frasquita, Henriette Wakefield as Mercedes, and Paolo Ananian, Giordano Paltrinieri, Giovanni Mattino and Vincenzo Reschiglian as Dancairo, Remandado, Zuniga and Morales, respectively.



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