[Met Performance] CID:114390

Metropolitan Opera House, Mon, January 22, 1934

Manon (112)
Jules Massenet | Henri Meilhac/Philippe Gille
Lucrezia Bori

Des Grieux
Tito Schipa

Giuseppe De Luca

Count des Grieux
Léon Rothier

Angelo Badà

George Cehanovsky

Pearl Besuner

Philine Falco

Dorothea Flexer

Paolo Ananian

Max Altglass

Arnold Gabor

Gina Gola

Louis Hasselmans

Review 1:

Review of W. J. Henderson in the Sun

The fifth week of the season at the Metropolitan Opera House began last evening with an excellent performance of Massenet's "Manon." The work had been given once before, but outside the subscription, at a special matinee on January 11. Owing to the claims of other musical incidents of the same day no comment was made here on that representation.

It was a demonstrative audience which heard the opera last evening, and there were repeated recalls and many "bravi" for the principal singers. The enthusiasm was easily accounted for by the fact that the level of artistic achievement was uniformly high. Lucrezia Bori's Manon is not in need of new praises. It has long been one of the beloved characterizations of the local stage. It is beautiful vocally and influential histrionically. Sometimes it has more intensity than at others, which is a matter dependent to a considerable degree on the impersonator of the Chevalier des Grieux. At the two performances of this season the role has been allotted to Tito Schipa. This has been to the aid of Miss Bori's Manon. Mr. Schipa is the best Chevalier operagoers have had the fortune to hear lately.

It is hardly necessary to remind music lovers of Mr. Schipa's finished treatment of his music, and those who heard him sing the "Reve" last night were moved to long and hearty applause by a piece of extremely refined and intelligently molded vocal art. The delicacy and restraint of this number was in contrast to the passionate outburst of "Ah, fuyez, douce image." Mr. Schipa has plenty of voice for such music, and can impart to his utterance the power of emotional communication. Not only was the tenor's singing admirable throughout the opera, but his pictorial presentment of the role was marked by a sincerity and manliness sometimes missing.

Mr. Rothier enriched the evening with his sympathetic portrait of the elder Des Grieux, and he was in especially good voice. Mr. de Luca as Lescaut is now one of the essential features of "Manon." He was at his best last night, and his singing elicited loud approval. The minor parts were creditably done. Mr. Bada contributed one of his neat character bits as Guillot. In fact, there was no jarring blemish anywhere in the course of the evening. Mr. Hasselmans conducted with a most watchful eye on the singers.

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