[Met Performance] CID:124880

Metropolitan Opera House, Sat, January 28, 1939 Matinee Broadcast

Louise (24)
Gustave Charpentier | Gustave Charpentier
Grace Moore

René Maison

Doris Doe

Ezio Pinza

Helen Olheim

Maxine Stellman

Lucielle Browning

Irra Petina

Marisa Morel

Camille/Artichoke Vendor
Thelma Votipka

Pearl Besuner

Anna Kaskas

Errand Girl/Street Arab
Natalie Bodanya

Maria Savage

John Gurney

Louis D'Angelo

Max Altglass

Carlo Coscia

Wilfred Engelman

George Cehanovsky

Nicholas Massue

Giordano Paltrinieri

George Rasely

Norman Cordon

Birdfood Vendor
James Demers

Pope of Fools/Carrot Vendor/Noctambulist
Alessio De Paolis

Maria Gambarelli

Ettore Panizza

Désiré Defrère

Joseph Urban

Louise received eight performances this season.

Review 1:

Review by Olin Downes in the New York Times:

Miss Moore's Louise is a thoughtful, sincere and dramatically effective accomplishment, as it stands. She can do more, we believe, to intensify, as Mary Garden did so wonderfully, the struggle of the daughter against parents, the clash of wills, the revolt, the final throwing off and out of the window of every restraint, once rebellion has been declared, and the headlong escape from the house of bickerings and frustrations straight into the jaws of glittering, splendid, devouring, Paris.

But the conception, dramatically as well as in song, is excellently constructed, carried out in detail, and, if it is held down, or if it develops comparatively slowly to the final scene, does so on a scale that meets the needs of the final climax. There is logic in this, in Louise's character. She is the daughter of poor, honest, obstinate parents, whose toil and hard lives have caused them to forget their own youth and its dreams. She has been properly trained from the parental point of view-"suppressed", as our friends the psychoanalysts would say.

Her dresses fit her tightly and in not too flexible a design. Her shoulders are not free. They are pinched, in an invisible straitjacket, born of hard discipline, unconscious resignation, exhausting and underpaid work. She is ripe for the lure of Julien, the intoxication of his youth and the glamour of the life that he and his boon companions lead, and he is full of the isms of the day-the ideologies, as they now say-and talks constantly of liberty and freedom to live and love.

This is the broth that brews and makes drama of Charpentier's sociological and domestic tragedy of Paris at the turn of the century. Miss Moore conveyed this motive, for the present observer, extremely well. She did not yield gracefully to Julien, ecstatic as the yielding was. She could have made more of Louise's desperate exit from the workroom and the conversation of the sewing-girls had she chosen and in so doing might have stepped out of the frame of the unsophisticated character she was portraying.

Miss Moore did well by the music. Her voice has developed in late years in volume and quality; there is more security, a finer perception of pitch. "Depuis le jour" was a little stiff. It would have been better, and more finished, with less caution. That may well come with the second performance. Probably the sensation of a public test in a first American appearance in this role did not conduce to the utmost spontaneity.

Photograph of Grace Moore as the title role in Louise by Wide World Studio.

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