[Met Performance] CID:101320

Metropolitan Opera House, Mon, February 4, 1929

Review 1:

Review in the New York World


Bizet's "Carmen," as presented at the Metropolitan last night, was more akin to musical comedy than one would have thought possible. Nobody involved in the feminine contingent seemed to consider taking the work seriously for a moment. Mme. Jertiza did not even bother to provide herself with a cigarette in the first act, and simply peregrinated about the stage listlessly, in a make-up that made her look for all the world like a Bohemian peasant. Her singing was equally haphazard and perfunctory.

Grace Moore, who was making her first appearance this season, was simply a clay figure as Micaela. That she wore a fetching little scarlet cap and smiled knowingly at the Sevillian hoplites during her entrance scene were not so much innovations as the first intimation to cross the footlights that she was without any conception whatever of the part. She might have been cast for Red Riding Hood, for all that she conveyed of the shrinking modesty and tender solicitation of the role. And her vocal endeavors came no nearer the mark. There was no applause for her until after the third act aria, when some one shouted out a "Bravo!" that brought on a demonstration.

Mr. Pinza, as Escamillo, furnished the sole convincing portrayal of the evening and its most satisfactory vocalism. Mr. Martinelli, though rather miscast in this opera, did his best to please. The chorus sang in desultory fashion and Mr. Hasselmans seemed in no wise able to keep the performance from moving along scrappily, without a suspicion of reality or life.

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