[Met Performance] CID:101110

United States Premiere, New Production

Jonny Spielt Auf
Metropolitan Opera House, Sat, January 19, 1929

Jonny Spielt Auf (1)
Ernst Krenek | Ernst Krenek
Michael Bohnen

Florence Easton

Walter Kirchhoff

Editha Fleischer

Friedrich Schorr

Arnold Gabor

Hotel Manager
George Meader

Marek Windheim

George Cehanovsky

William Gustafson

Railway Announcer
Max Bloch

Artur Bodanzky

Wilhelm Von Wymetal

Set Designer
Joseph Urban

Costume Designer
Lillian Gärtner Palmedo

August Berger

Ernst Krenek

Ernst Krenek

Review 1:

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

"Jonny Spielt Auf," entitled an opera in two parts, words and music by Ernst Krenek, was produced at the Metropolitan Opera House on Saturday evening amid general excitement and discussion. There was an imposing audience and the applause signified a deep satisfaction derived from the disclosure of what Dr. Burney might have called the present state of music in Germany.

A critical consideration of this work should be based on a frank recognition of the truth that it is no such pretentious thing as some of the ludicrous comments made in Germany [have] lead us to expect. It is not a solemn work of art at all, but a keen satire and a theater show. But in order to carry out his scheme Krenek has set most of it to music of a modernist German opera type. This is the inevitable result of his design. His aim was to travesty the kind of recitative so often heard in very grand opera, which disguises commonplace and even silly remarks in lofty sounding phrases. To be sure this method of applying the reductio ad absurdum in operetta and musical comedy is not new. It was practiced with radiant humor many years ago by a team billed as Gilbert and Sullivan.

Krenek does not confine his burlesque attacks to opera; all conventions of music are his target. Naturally [he] does not miss the opportunity to employ parody. The grand opera music is frequently dissonant in the approved style of the day and there are some peppery instrumental combinations. The xylophone, the rattle, the railroad whistle, and the automobile horn lend their divine aid. There is not much of the blood of life in this music, but it is more convincing than its enemy, Mr. Krenek's jazz. Here the lordly

bass drum overpowers the xylophone and the automobile horn. But the fox-trotting of Krenek is pretty heavy business. The children of the gay white way will mock at it.

Let it be said that this is pretty good musical comedy with some outstanding moments, and if you don't take it too seriously you can have a pleasant evening at its performance.

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