[Met Performance] CID:95330
Roméo et Juliette {142} Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York, Brooklyn: 02/8/1927.

(Review)


New York, Brooklyn
February 8, 1927


ROMÉO ET JULIETTE {142}

Roméo...................Armand Tokatyan
Juliette................Lucrezia Bori
Frère Laurent...........Léon Rothier
Stéphano................Ellen Dalossy
Mercutio................Giuseppe De Luca
Benvolio................Max Altglass
Gertrude................Henriette Wakefield
Capulet.................Adamo Didur
Tybalt..................Rafaelo Díaz
Pâris...................Millo Picco
Grégorio................Paolo Ananian
Duke of Verona..........Louis D'Angelo

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

Review (unsigned) in the Brookly Standard Union

'Romeo et Juliette' at the Academy of Music

For the eighth subscription performance by the Metropolitan Opera Company at the Brooklyn Academy of Music last evening, Gounod's "Romeo et Juliette" was listened to by an audience of over two thousand local operagoers. In many respects ineffective, insipid and commonplace, Gounod's suave melody nevertheless falls like balsam on ears that are battered by the musical product of a restless, hurried, modern world. Medicos who advocate music as therapeutic treatment for nervous afflictions, might wisely prescribe an evening of "Romeo et Juliette" for their patients.

Gounod, of course, missed most of the dramatic intensity of Shakespeare's play, and failed to register the poignant depths of despair and heartbreak so integrally a part of the text. The duets and garden music of the second act are weak and sound insincere. Coming a decade after "Faust," this opera (first given in 1867) marks the retrograde movement of Gounod's last period. Shakespeare, thrown into French by the librettists Barbier and Carre, was duly butchered and cut up to make an opera music-makers holiday.

"Romeo et Juliette" has, however figured prominently in the history of the Metropolitan Opera House. In the golden nineties Eames and Melba were the Juliettes and Jean de Reszke a celebrated Romeo. Twentieth century Juliettes have been Farrar, Alda, Galli-Curci and Bori. Given in Brooklyn four seasons ago with Bori and Gigli, last night's return brought the same Juliette with a new Romeo in the person of Armand Tokatyan.

Lovely in person, and the true thrill of Italian "morbidezza" running through her voice, Mme. Bori's Juliette afforded the outstanding interest of last night's performance. Mr. Tokatyan's Romeo was conventional, his pleasing lyric tenor amplified by the most approved of Delsartian gestures. Messrs. De Luca, Didur and Rothier upheld the traditions of their respective roles, and Mr. Diaz was a fiery Tybalt. Mr. Hasselman's baton drew as much color out of Gounod's pallid music as was humanly possible.



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