[Met Performance] CID:127690

Metropolitan Opera House, Sat, January 20, 1940

Debut : Reno Mabilli

Louise (32)
Gustave Charpentier | Gustave Charpentier
Grace Moore

René Maison

Doris Doe

Ezio Pinza

Helen Olheim

Edith Herlick

Suzanne/Young Ragpicker
Lucielle Browning

Irra Petina

Maxine Stellman

Camille/Artichoke Vendor
Thelma Votipka

Annamary Dickey

Anna Kaskas

Errand Girl/Street Arab
Natalie Bodanya

Maria Savage

Douglas Beattie

Nicola Moscona

Louis D'Angelo

Anthony Marlowe

Carlo Coscia

Wilfred Engelman

George Cehanovsky

Nicholas Massue

Giordano Paltrinieri

George Rasely

Norman Cordon

Birdfood Vendor
James Demers [Last performance]

Birdfood Vendor
Reno Mabilli [Debut]

Birdfood Vendor
Joseph Santoro

Pope of Fools/Carrot Vendor/Noctambulist
Alessio De Paolis

Maria Gambarelli

Ettore Panizza

Désiré Defrère

Joseph Urban

Louise received three performances this season.

Review 1:

Review of Jerome D. Bohm in the Herald Tribune

Grace Moore Sings "Louise" At Metropolitan

Artists in Charpentier Opera Also Include Doris Doe, Pinza and Rene Maison

For all its undeniably sentimental pages and its unabashed Wagnerisms, "Louise" remains a viable opera, one in which certain aspects of the Paris of 1900 are imaginatively realized for us, a realization all the more poignant because the Paris of forty years ago is gone forever and remains but a nostalgic memory. The sociological problem which once made "Louise" a matter of burning contemporary interest no longer exists. But Charpentier has succeeded here in creating figures of flesh and blood, and while his music is not highly original in its sources, there is considerable atmospheric tone-painting in the score which remains arrestingly suggestive.

Many of these inherent attributes were conveyed in this presentation. Miss Moore's delineation of the central figure remains her most convincing operatic contribution, although her portrayal is not consistently conceived. Moments of true simplicity are contrasted with others in which it is difficult to believe that this Louise is unversed in the ways of life and love. Such a moment was the parting kiss given Julien in the first scene of the second act, which would have been more appropriate had it been bestowed in a performance of "Thais." Much of her singing was effective, invested with tonal and emotional warmth, but as in last year's performances, her delivery of her third-act aria "Depuis le jour," was rhythmically and tonally erratic, well turned phrases being in the minority.

As the mother, Miss Doe's envisagement was often dramatically veracious and her singing, too, served to accentuate the effectiveness of her impersonation. Mr. Pinza, in excellent vocal form, was again a sympathetic figure as the father, although his approach to the part was more Neapolitan than Parisian. The Julien of Mr. Maison, like everything he undertakes, is stamped with the hallmark of sincerity; yet there can be no doubt that he is miscast as a youthful, ardent lover, and it was a much his fault as Miss Moore's that the curtain of the first scene of Act II invoked snickers from various parts of the house.

Some of the most effective bits were contributed by singers entrusted with less weighty parts. The scene in the dressmaking establishment, one of Charpentier's most attractive, was highly diverting. Miss Stellman and Miss Votipka vouchsafing particularly telling touches. Mr. Panizza directed zealously and succeeded in obtaining results from his players. The audience, a huge one, gave frequent demonstrations of approval.

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