[Met Performance] CID:104670

New Production

Metropolitan Opera House, Sat, March 1, 1930 Matinee

Louise (15)
Gustave Charpentier | Gustave Charpentier
Lucrezia Bori

Antonin Trantoul

Marion Telva

Léon Rothier

Phradie Wells

Mildred Parisette

Pearl Besuner

Dorothea Flexer

Aida Doninelli

Charlotte Ryan

Minnie Egener

Philine Falco

Errand Girl
Ellen Dalossy

Maria Savage

Louis D'Angelo

Young Ragpicker
Gladys Swarthout

Coal Gatherer
Grace Divine

Alfio Tedesco

Lamberto Belleri

Carlo Coscia

Alfredo Gandolfi

Millo Picco

George Cehanovsky

Giordano Paltrinieri

Marek Windheim

Paolo Ananian

William Gustafson

Old Clothes Man
Max Bloch

Rita De Leporte

Louis Hasselmans


Joseph Urban

August Berger

Louise received nine performances this season.

Review 1:

Review of Lawrence Gilman in the Herald Tribune

"Louise" is back--"Louise," with its onion soup, its glimpses of proletarian and Bohemian Paris, its Midinettes and artists, workmen and revelers, its symphony of street cries, its dressmaker's sewing room, its Love Nest on Montmartre, its vision of the enchanted City seen from the Butte, with the distant, bursting rockets on the backdrop, its tragic, bewildered parents and its hard-boiled minx, Louise herself, opera's most Disagreeable Girl. The rebellious heroine, incarnate at the Metropolitan ten years ago in the lamented Miss Farrar, a dozen years before that in the azygous Mary, comes back to us in the image of Miss Luerezia Bori, very fetching in her discreet revival of the costumes of the late '90s -- Zouave jacket (was it not so called?) and sailor hat and skirt of seemly length.

The admirable cantatrice was good to look at and to hear, except some of the higher reaches of "Depuius le jour," which the audience interrupted with applause, stilled by the lifted arm of the singer, though she stepped gracefully out of her part at the song's conclusion and took her bows quite as if she were singing Lucia or Violetta. Miss Bori is still, apparently, outside the role and looking in; she and Louise have not yet quite coalesced. Neither her raptures nor her defiant hardness seems as yet wholly real to her, though there are many moments in which her skill as an actress, her warm and luminous intelligence and her extraordinary charm win the day.

Mr. Rothier's Father is movingly sung, at times it is movingly acted and it has passages of true and touching beauty in the last act. But the tragic climax, as he conceives it, lacks power and pith and intensity. Mr. Trantoul gave us a rather pallid water color sketch of the poet-lover. This Julien would scarcely have swept Louise off her feet. Nor was he illusive to the imagination by way of that unfortunately inescapable organ, the eye. This poet had lived too well. The fourth of the principal rôles, that of the Mother, was admirably projected by Marion Telva, with a quiet force which made its points securely and with telling effect.

The rest of the long cast (there were thirty-nine names on the program), were adequate on the whole. Mr. Max Bloch, as the "Old Clothes Man," with his "Marchard d'habits! Avez-vous des habits?a vendr'?"and his tower of old hats borne securely on his head, achieved a minor triumph of humorous veracity. The crowd scenes were devised and handled with spirit by Mr. Von Wymental. Mr. Hasselmans conducted with taste and authority and Mr. Setti's chorus sang robustly. Mr., Urban's settings were in his familiar vein.

"Louise" has aged. Its romanticism, never very deeply felt nor authentic, sounds thin and hollow. Its "realism" once a nine day wonder, seems tawdry and false. Charpentier himself, as a composer, has become, as our Lutetian friends so elegantly say, "old hat." In such music as that in which the street cries of awakening Paris-the calls of the ragman, the caner of chairs, the venders of artichokes, green peas, potatoes, brooms, bird seed-are caught up and transformed into a kind of tonal apotheosis which seems to Julien to be "the Song of Paris." Charpentier is, at his best, a poetic imaginative individual. This is one of the two memorable features of the score. The other is in his treatment of the concluding scene, the scene in which the father of Louise, in the blindness of his rage and anguish, drives his daughter into the midnight streets of the enamoring, detested city. But here, it is to be noted, the potency of the moment, admirable in its tragic force and in its deep and elemental pathos, resides far more in the contrivance of Charpentier the dramatist than in Charpentier the composer. On the whole "Louise," alas! is as demodée as puffed sleeves.

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