[Met Tour] CID:131780

La Bohème
Palace Theatre, Albany, New York, Tue, May 6, 1941

Debut : Herman Dreeben

La Bohème (351)
Giacomo Puccini | Luigi Illica/Giuseppe Giacosa
Jarmila Novotna

Charles Kullman

Annamary Dickey

Richard Bonelli

George Cehanovsky

Nicola Moscona

Salvatore Baccaloni

Herman Dreeben [Debut]

Arthur Kent

Gennaro Papi [Last performance]

Review 1:

Review of Edgar S. Van Olinda in the Albany Times-Union

3,500 Hail Metropolitan Opera

Critic Acclaims 'Musical Treat'

Performance by All-Star Cast Called Excellent; Czech Soprano and Charles Kullman Score

Fabian Theaters deserve the unqualified thanks of Albany for having the courage and civic spirit to make last night's visit of the Metropolitan Opera Company possible. There was an audience of 3,500 to hear one of the greatest musical treats in the long musical history of this cultural city. That Albany can rise to the occasion when put to the test was demonstrated by the tremendous applause which greeted the familiar arias and concerted numbers.

Importance of the event may be judged by the presence of Edward Johnson, general manager; Edward Ziegler and Earle Lewis, assistant general managers of the Metropolitan Opera. They were most enthusiastic over the size and quality of the audience.

We have heard "La Bohème" many times at the Met, but never a finer performance than that which was presented here. It was an all-star cast, not just a name star with a mediocre supporting group. The glamorous new Czech soprano, Jarmila Novotna, scored a personal triumph for her dramatic singing and acting in the role of Mimi. Her voice is young and fresh, but ample enough to be heard in the last row of the great auditorium. She not only sings beautifully but is refreshing in her ability to portray a lovely young girl, afflicted with tuberculosis without creating an inward chuckle - like most of her overweight contemporaries. Her art is pleasing to the eyes and ears alike.


Charles Kullman, young American tenor, was the Rodolfo, and on him and Miss Novotna devolves most of the vocal work in the opera. Kullman is one of the finest assets of the Metropolitan. He has the Caruso golden quality and sings with the utmost ease throughout his extensive range. He sang the great aria, "Your Tiny Hand is Frozen." At the beginning of the opera, and his high C, bugbear of most tenors, rang out with real Caruso brilliance. To a magnificent voice, he adds a romantic figure with a great degree of histrionic art, particularly in the death scene of Mimi.


George Cehanovsky and Nicola Moscona completed the quartet of Bohemians while lending vocal and dramatic strength to the ensemble.

The fine orchestra, the chorus and principals were artistically guided through the melodious score by Gennaro Papi, and the excellence of the finished musical product may be said to stem from his musicianly interpretation of the score and his sympathetic accompanying of the solos and choruses.

The enthusiasm of the audience and Mr. Johnson's recognition of the potentialities of an annual visit by his company to this city auger well for musical future.

Search by season: 1940-41

Search by title: La Bohème,

Met careers