[Met Performance] CID:118290

Metropolitan Opera House, Fri, January 10, 1936

Debut : Joseph Bentonelli

Manon (121)
Jules Massenet | Henri Meilhac/Philippe Gille
Lucrezia Bori

Des Grieux
Joseph Bentonelli [Debut]

Richard Bonelli

Count des Grieux
Chase Baromeo

Angelo Badà

George Cehanovsky

Helen Gleason

Charlotte Symons

Irra Petina

Louis D'Angelo

Max Altglass

Arnold Gabor

Gina Gola

Louis Hasselmans

Désiré Defrère

Joseph Urban

George Balanchine

There was no credit for George Balanchine in the program,
but a ballet was reviewed in the newspapers.
Manon received three performances this season.

Review 1:

Review of George Brown in unidentified newspaper

Bentonelli Had Debut in 'Manon' at Metropolitan

"Manon" had this season's initial hearing on Friday evening at the Metropolitan Opera House. A new tenor graced the role of Des Grieux. He was Joseph Bentonelli, an American by birth, and really Joseph Benton by name. Mr. Bentonelli's voice at times has a warm, lyric quality. It isn't a big voice. Neither is it without color. But it is tremulously uneven. Friday night, at least, it showed a tendency to run out of control and make itself strident when Mr. Bentonelli forced his voice in an attempt to fill the huge auditorium. The artist makes a personable appearance, and comported himself nicely in the role. But perhaps another hearing on an occasion less nerve straining for Mr. Bentonelli may create a more favorable impression. Until then, we must suspend final judgment.

'Manon" is a keen example of the Massenet, who applied all his skill to a single purpose: the portrayal of romantic, sentimental love. In the principal name role, Lucrezia Bori presented a penetrating, sensitive picture of the gay lady whose great store of love and generous disposal of it brought tragedy to herself and the man she loved. There was a passionate vitality in her acting, a lucid persuasiveness about her voice, that resulted in a glowing and vigorous performance of the role. Her Manon is still one of Miss Bori's best. Mr. Bonelli, in fine fettle, added measurably to the scenes in which he appeared. Mr. Hasselmans conducted with feeling, aware at all times of the charm and flavor of this delightful Massenet opus. The audience filled the auditorium to overflowing.

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