[Met Performance] CID:96370
La Bohème {246}
Cavalleria Rusticana {252}
Matinee ed. Washington Auditorium, Washington, D.C.: 04/23/1927.

(Review)


Washington, D.C.
April 23, 1927 Matinee


LA BOHÈME {246}

Mimì....................Lucrezia Bori
Rodolfo.................Edward Johnson
Musetta.................Louise Hunter
Marcello................Millo Picco
Schaunard...............Adamo Didur
Colline.................Ezio Pinza
Benoit..................Paolo Ananian
Alcindoro...............Paolo Ananian
Parpignol...............Max Altglass
Sergeant................Vincenzo Reschiglian

Conductor...............Vincenzo Bellezza


CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA {252}

Santuzza................Florence Easton
Turiddu.................Armand Tokatyan
Lola....................Ina Bourskaya
Alfio...................Lawrence Tibbett
Mamma Lucia.............Minnie Egener

Conductor...............Giuseppe Bamboschek

Review signed H. F. in the Washington Sunday Star

Unusual Combination

In the afternoon the double bill included Puccini's "La Bohème" and Mascagni's "Cavalleria Rusticana." This was a rather unusual combination: the Leoncavallo "Pagliacci" generally being the twin on the double bill with the Mascagni work. However, the Puccini work offered much more subtle and complete contrast to the Mascagni opera and, as sung by Lucrezia Bori, Edward Johnson, Louise Hunter and Millo Picco in the leading roles, the former was a beautiful performance.

It is difficult to imagine a more perfect Mimi than Miss Bori's characterization and the charming Spanish actress-singer easily carried off both vocal and dramatic leading honors. Mr. Johnson's Rodolfo was a fervent lover and exquisite singer, though he is inclined to the lyric rather than robust style of singing. The narrative he sang most convincingly, and the duets with Mimi both in the first act and the third were especially admirable. Marcello was most satisfactorily portrayed by Signor Picco, even though he has not Scotti's finish in style; his interpretation carries conviction.

American Girl Sings

Louise Hunter, an American girl, sang and looked the part of Musetta completely. Her waltz song winning her several curtain calls. The famous coat song of Colline's was unobtrusively, yet beautifully, sung by Ezio Pinza. Others in the cast all added effective bits to the general excellence of the work and the sextet of women singers in the beginning of the third act was a particularly good bit of clean-cut choral work. The orchestra under Vincenzo Bellezza was thoroughly admirable and subservient to the singers at all times, yet eloquent in the purely instrumental passages.

As the Puccini work set forth the tragedy and humor of real life in the Latin quarter of Paris with artistry and convincing melodies, so the exaggerated lengths to which the human passions may go if left entirely to impulse were set fort in the Mascagni opus. Fire and flame, symbols and broad choral treatment of the melodies were substituted for the interwoven solos and duets of the former work.

Sensation of Season

Florence Easton was a very effective Santuzza and Armand Tokatyan has never been heard here to such advantage as in singing the tenor role of the fickle Turiddu. A sensation of the entire season was the singing of the young Californian, Lawrence Tibbett, as Alfio, in which role he has brought both individual characterization and fine, convincing singing of virile, yet always rounded style. Ina Bourskaya has been heard here to much better advantage than in the role of Lola, which does not bring out her best and very individual qualities. However, she sang the role of the flirt very well. Giuseppe Bamboschek conducted with such vigor and received his due from the audience as well as singers.

The season was one "gala" blaze of Italian opera and at all three performances the large audiences seemed to continuously have a good time and enjoy the singing as much as most of the singers themselves, equally obviously enjoyed it. It does not seem probable from the latest available reports from the box office that another score of years will roll by before the Metropolitan brings its next season of opera to Washington.



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