[Met Performance] CID:98540
Mignon {38} Matinee ed. Metropolitan Opera House: 02/22/1928.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
February 22, 1928 Matinee


MIGNON {38}
Am. Thomas-Carré/Barbier

Mignon..................Lucrezia Bori
Wilhelm Meister.........Mario Chamlee
Philine.................Marion Talley
Lothario................Clarence Whitehill
Frédéric................Ellen Dalossy
Laërte..................Angelo Badà
Jarno...................Paolo Ananian
Antonio.................Louis D'Angelo
Dance...................Ruth Page

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

Director................Wilhelm von Wymetal
Designer................Serge Soudeikine
Choreographer...........August Berger

Mignon received six performances this season.

Review of W. J. Henderson in the New York Sun

Lucrezia Bori Sings in 'Mignon'

Chamlee Takes Place of Gigli, Who is Ill - Marion Talley Has Role of Philine

The calendar does not state that George Washington is the patron saint of the theater, but he is. His birthday is the best show-house day of the year with the possible exception of Thanksgiving. Signor Gatti-Casazza of the Metropolitan Operas House is not an American, but he has fed upon the fat of this land long enough to be acquainted with the annual worship of the little hatchet and the cherry pie. So he gave a special matinee yesterday afternoon and presented Ambroise Thomas's "Mignon" for the first time this season.

There was to have been an all-star cast, but Mr. Gigli fell victim to conditions beyond his control and his place as Wilhelm Meister was taken creditably by Mario Chamlee. Lucrezia Bori in the name part received the bulk of the applause of an audience which jammed the house and was obviously out to have a good time. Nevertheless it displayed a discrimination often lacking among the listeners on subscription nights.

Miss Bori showed delightful improvement in her impersonation of the little waif. Her delivery of the music was touched with delicate shades of vocal color applied with artistic judgment and her action was generally significant. The Metropolitan stage has known several Mignons, and that of Miss Bori may now be admitted to the front rank of the august company. Her singing yesterday of "Connais tu le Pays" has certainly not been excelled and probably equaled only by Christine Nilsson's in the first season of this house.

Miss Talley reassumed the scepter of Titania in the role of Philne. The young soprano has neither the technique nor the style for this part. She can be praised for her intonation; she almost never left the pitch. But her scooped attacks, her two contrasting qualities of tone, middle and upper, and the entire absence of the spirit of such numbers as the celebrated polacca (loudly applauded, of course) were even more exposed than they were when she sang the same role last season. The import of the dialogue and the nuances of delineation by action and gesture seemed to be even beyond her suspicion.

Miss Talley has fully and even irrefutably justified the description of her voice and talents published in this newspaper after the outbursts of blinding and deafening fireworks with which her advent was heralded. Accounts of her appearance this season have settled down to a rather wearisome reiteration of statements made on the day following her debut. The only additions that can be made are what every artist singer and teacher of singing knows, that in time their effect is revealed in the deteriorated beauty of a voice.

Mr. Whitehill is not altogether happy as Lothario, the doddering old harpen, and Miss Dalossy is an indifferent Frederick. Mr. Bada made a good character sketch of Laerte and Mr. Halsselmans conducted the performance with knowledge, if not with imagination.



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