[Met Performance] CID:90300
La Juive {36} Auditorium, Atlanta, Georgia: 04/22/1925.

(Review)


Atlanta, Georgia
Auditorium
April 22, 1925


LA JUIVE {36}

Rachel..................Florence Easton
Eléazar.................Giovanni Martinelli
Princess Eudoxie........Queena Mario
Prince Léopold..........Ralph Errolle
Cardinal de Brogni......Léon Rothier
Ruggiero................Millo Picco
Albert..................Louis D'Angelo
Herald..................Paolo Ananian
Major-domo..............Vincenzo Reschiglian
Dance...................Unknown

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

Review of Hugh Hodgson in the Atlanta Constitution

'La Juive's' Dramatic Spirit Enthralls Large Audience

'La Juive" was presented Wednesday night in all of its dramatic glory and with an unusual amount of spirit and enthusiasm. The thrilling plot of the opera, written by Scribe, was chosen by Halevy for this work which is considered his masterpiece.

The opera is modeled after the grand old Meyerbeerian type. It is not noted so much for its melodies as it is for its wonderful dramatic effects. Much of the music is declamatory, although singers are given opportunities in the traditional form of arias, duets, trios and ensembles. Scenic effects obtained by Joseph Urban are spectacular and, although there is much uninteresting music in "La Juive," it is ever popular with the public.

Jacques Halevy, or Jacques Levy, for this was his real name, has made a wonderful living character of Eleazar, and it seems that his name, rather than Rachel's should be the title. There is a great deal of action all through the opera and the vivid settings made us almost believe we were living in Constance in 1414 - the time and setting of the opera.

Days of Caruso Recalled

"La Juive" was last heard in Atlanta in 1920 with a cast including Caruso, Ponselle and Rothier, the last named singing here again last night. It was in this role of Eleazar that Caruso last sang. On account of the close association of this role with the immortal Caruso, Martinelli, dean of the Metropolitan tenors, had a hard task. As usual, he did his part well. He made Eleazar a vital being, appealed to and won unanimous sympathy from the audience. His personality dominated the action of the plot, and with dramatic fervor he made much of the climaxes through the opera. He sang with unusual vigor and power and won the hearty appreciation of his audience.

Much of the music of "La Juive" is pleasing if not stirring, but the composer seems to reach his greatest heights in the last act which shows the tragic denouement. The scene between the Cardinal and Eleazar, as rendered by Martinelli and Rothier, was thrilling, and with their voices interpreting for us the tragedy of the scene the audience was stirred to enthusiasm and applause.

Florence Easton had the difficult assignment of substituting at the last moment for Rosa Ponselle, one of Atlanta's favorites. Of course, we all regret not having the opportunity of enjoying Miss Ponselle's glorious voice this season, but we were glad to hear Miss Easton's interpretation of Rachel, as she sang this role at the first performance of this year's revival of the opera in New York.

As usual she pleased the large audience with her lovely voice, her customary skill in song, her intelligence and genuine musicianship. It is always a pleasure to hear this versatile artist, who sings with understanding and expression, and she was in excellent voice last night in Rachel. This was just another of the already long list of performances she has saved by substituting at the last moment, which she is able to do so often because of her unusually large repertoire.

Rothier is an ideal Cardinal. He upholds the dignity of Brogni in manner and in voice. Mr. Rothier sings with a finish and polish and gave again a masterful picture of the character. Errolle was pleasing in the part of Leopold, and sang the romance in the first act with much feeling and tonal color.

Mario Highly Praised

Miss Queena Mario made an excelled Princess Eudoxia, and sang superbly as she always does. All her work that we have had the privilege of hearing has a freshness and beauty that only a lovely young voice can possess. It is with great regret, we note, that Miss Mario is not to appear again this season and that we will not hear her in some of the larger roles she has so successfully sung in New York.

Picco, d'Angelo, Ananian and Reschiglian, as Ruggiero, Albert, Herald and Major Domo respectively, sang their parts in an approved manner.

We do not know whether it was the inspired conducting of Mr. Hasselmans, who had been ill all day, or the singers' and orchestra's spirit of enthusiasm to excel, in spite of all handicaps, that gave so much life and spirited ensemble to the performance. The audience feeling this inspiration and cohesion reacted with deserved applause.

The chorus measured up to the unusual incomparable standard of the Metropolitan company and sang with skill; showing the wonderful discipline and tradition of the company's chorus. The ballet entered into the action and contributed materially to the enjoyment of the opera.



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