[Met Performance] CID:92860
La Vida Breve {3}
Le Rossignol {3}
Metropolitan Opera House: 03/19/1926.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
March 19, 1926


LA VIDA BREVE {3}

Salud...................Lucrezia Bori
Paco....................Armand Tokatyan
Grandmother.............Kathleen Howard
Sarvaor.................Louis D'Angelo
Carmela.................Merle Alcock
Manuel..................Millo Picco
Singer..................Giovanni Martino
Four Voices: Charlotte Ryan, Grace Anthony, Angelo Badà, Max Altglass

Act II:
"Sevillana" by Florence Rudolph and Giuseppe Bonfiglio
"Jota" by Florence Rudolph, Giuseppe Bonfiglio and Corps de Ballet

Conductor...............Tullio Serafin


LE ROSSIGNOL {3}
In French

Nightingale.............Marion Talley
Fisherman...............Ralph Errolle
Cook....................Ina Bourskaya
Emperor.................Adamo Didur
Chamberlain.............Gustav Schützendorf
Bonze...................James Wolfe
Death...................Henriette Wakefield
Japanese Envoys: Max Altglass, Millo Picco, Giordano Paltrinieri
Lantern Servants: Laura Robertson, Max Altglass, Mary Bonetti

Conductor...............Tullio Serafin

Review signed B. L. D. in Musical America

Two Novelties Repeated

Manuel de Falla's "La Vida Breve" and Igor Stravinsky's "Le Rossignol," constituting the Metropolitan's latest double bill, were given their second performance on March 19, with Tullio Serafin conducting. A re-hearing of the Spanish work strengthens one's original impression that it is less an opera than a symphonic poem with mimetic and vocal adjuncts. The dramatic crescendo moves with so deliberate a tempo and the denouement of the tenuous plot is so clearly foreseen from the beginning that the final moment of tragedy has little emotional power.

Attention concentrated on the orchestration is rewarded by music of adroit workmanship and atmospheric charm. The melodic and rhythmic elements are consistently Iberian, strongly tinged with the Moorish idiom that is an inseparable part of folk-music in southern Spain. Rhythmic diversity and iridescence of instrumental color offset, to some extent, the monotone of the dramaturgy.

Lucrezia Bori sang again the role of Salud with unfailing beauty of tone and grace of phrasing. Armand Tokatyan, in the ungrateful position of leading tenor with little to sing or do, solved the problem agreeably. Giovanni Martino replaced Millo Picco as A Singer, while Mr. Picco substituted for Arnold Gabor as Manuel. Otherwise, the cast was the same as at the premiere, Kathleen Howard as the Grandmother, Merle Alcock as Carmela and Louis d'Angelo as Uncle Sarvaor.

Curious spectators, rising sporadically in the forepart of the house to catch a glimpse of Marion Talley in the orchestra pit, again provided a silhouetted prelude to "Le Rossignol." Miss Talley sang the roulades of the nightingale with the same fluent ease as before, while her attack of the high notes had greater surety. Ralph Errolle's delivery of the Fisherman's lines was noticeably improved in smoothness. On the stage there was no change in the cast of Adamo Didur as the Emperor, Gustav Schützendorf as the Chamberlain, James Wolfe as the Bonze, Ina Bourskaya as the Cook and Henriette Wakefield as Death.



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