[Met Performance] CID:92420
La Juive {41} American Academy of Music, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 02/16/1926.

(Review)


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
February 16, 1926


LA JUIVE {41}

Rachel..................Nanny Larsén-Todsen
Eléazar.................Giovanni Martinelli
Princess Eudoxie........Nina Morgana
Prince Léopold..........Ralph Errolle
Cardinal de Brogni......Léon Rothier
Ruggiero................Arnold Gabor
Albert..................Louis D'Angelo
Herald..................Paolo Ananian
Major-domo..............James Wolfe
Dance...................Florence Rudolph
Dance...................Giuseppe Bonfiglio

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

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

'LA JUIVE' IS GIVEN BY METROPOLITAN

Martinelli and Mme. Larsen-Todsen Triumph in Roles of Eleazar and
Rachel

Last night's performance by the Metropolitan Opera Company of "La Juive," the only remaining opera of Halevy in the modern repertoire, was an outstanding example of the production and spectacular effects of an opera which, in the main, is musically outlived, but which, nevertheless, contains some very individual numbers and affords an immense opportunity for artistic characterization.

The production, as a whole, was a triumph for Mr. Martinelli, in the role of Eleazar, although the entire cast was thoroughly competent and some very fine singing and acting were done by all the principal members. Mr. Martinelli repeated his success of last year, although he has introduced some variations not altogether for the best into the role. He gave more of the idea of the feebleness of the apparent age of the character than he did the season before, which contrasted with the force of the defiance of the Cardinal in the first scene of the closing act. But the pathos and general effectiveness of his interpretation were very fine and his singing was perfect, especially in the great duet with the Cardinal and the tremendous aria which follows - the finest music of the entire opera - in the first scene of the last act. The audience recognized an exceptionally fine example of the operatic art and recalled Mr. Martinelli and Mr. Rothier many times, the close of the tenor aria being greeted with cheers as well as with the greatest applause of the evening.

The other characterizations, both dramatic and tonal, were almost equally convincing. Mme. Larsen-Todsen repeated her success of last season in the title role and sang and acted with beautiful vocal and histrionic art. Her representations of the closing scene where Rachel is thrust into the pot of burning pitch, was so realistic as actually to cause some subdued screams from overexcited members of the audience. Leon Rothier gave a splendid representation of the Cardinal, his beautiful voice showing to the best effect in the great scene in the fourth act and in the duet with Eleazar immediately following. His pathetic appeal for knowledge of his daughter from Eleazar, and his singing and acting throughout, left nothing to be desired.

The lesser roles were well taken. Ralph Errolle as the erring Leopold was excellent, although the brilliancy of Mr. Martinelli's voice was rather against him at some places, notably in the trio with Eleazar and Rachel in the second act. Mina Morgana was a personable and totally competent Princess, although her acting in the scene of the presentation of the jeweled necklace and in one or two of the other extremely dramatic points of the opera might have been a little more impassioned. The other roles were well taken by Arnold Gabor as Ruggiero, Louis d'Angelo as Albert, Paolo Ananian as the Herald and James Wolfe as the Major-domo.

The ballets led by Florence Randolph and Giuseppe Bonfiglio were beautiful exhibitions of the dancing art as applied to opera, and the choral numbers were very finely done, although the back-stage organ which keeps the chorus in tune in the unaccompanied numbers was a little too much in evidence in the impressive choral numbers at the [beginning] of the second act. But the performance, as a whole, was a very beautifully unified one in all respects, vocal, terpsichorean, scenic and dramatic. There may be some question about the value of the music in these sophisticated days of the moderns; there can be none concerning the generally high standard of the production of last evening.



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