[Met Tour] CID:133350

Lyric Theatre, Baltimore, Maryland, Tue, March 17, 1942

Leonard Warren repeated the Toreador Song

Review 1:

Review in the Baltimore Sun


Brings Down House With his "Toreador Song" in Opera "Carmen" Audience Forces Encore for Second Time in Met's History Here

For the Second time in the history of major grand opera in Baltimore a singer last night stopped a performance to such an extent that an encore had to be given before the shouting, applauding and stamping audience, some of them standing in their seats, could be quieted. This came in the second act of Bizet's "Carmen," presented at the Lyric by the Metropolitan Opera Company, after Leonard Warren, young American barytone, finished the famous "Toreador Song." Mr. Warren was substituting for Ezio Pinza, Italian who was booked for the role of the toreador, but who was detained late last week in New York for investigation by the FBI.

Bedlam Breaks Loose

A few minutes after the second-act chorus, Mr. Warren, tall and robust, broke through the stage crowd, waving his cloak. He launched into the strains of the famous aria. He went on for the two verses and choruses and then bedlam broke loose. From the rear of the house and high in the gallery came calls of "encore" and ''bravo." The chorus in the seats grew louder. The applause would not be stopped. Mr. Warren bowed again and again. Sir Thomas Beecham, British guest conductor waited patiently for quiet that he might continue the score; however, the house was calling and applauding for an encore. Finally, Sir Thomas gave in. He signaled to Mr. Warren who stepped to the footlights and the second verse and chorus was repeated to earn more applause and shouts

Second Such Event

Not since Beniamino Gigli. Metropolitan tenor of other days, stopped the show with an aria in "Elixir of Love" at the Lyric on April 25, 1930 has such a scene been enacted here and not since that date has an encore-that was the first in opera history in Baltimore-been allowed by a major opera company. It was a night of grand opera on a grand scale, a night on which the audience gave vent to its feelings by frequently calling and recalling the artists, some of whom were new to this city.

It was a night of operatic debuts, too. Among them was Sir Thomas, whose reading of the score was anticipated with interest.

New Carmen

Secondly, there was excitement about the new Carmen, Lily Djanel, who made her American debut in the role several weeks ago in New York. Thirdly, there was a tenor new to Baltimore operagoers, Raoul Jobin, the Don José of the evening.

From the moment the first arrivals entered the auditorium it was evident that the evening would be gayer and livelier than Monday night when Mozart's 'The Magic Flute" was sung Differing from the evening before was the dress of the women. Where the evening before there had been all dark colors, last night's women were gay in reds, pinks. yellows and other bright colors which vied for supremacy with the gay Spanish costuming on the stage.

Uniforms Again

There were more army than navy uniforms last night, but the theater continued to have its brilliant dress of officers of all services. There were flowers at shoulders and flowers being carried. There were Russian sable, ermine and squirrel. There were jewels of all kinds and sorts. There was everything reminiscent of the most brilliant audiences in the most prosperous of peace days.

When Sir Thomas appeared there was a tremendous outburst of applause, and the goateed conductor turned and bowed. Then, with a flourish, he lifted his baton and a company official in the rear whispered "They're off."He was right. Although trying their best and singing louder and more lustily than the night before members of the audience were unable to keep up with the orchestra on the national anthem. Sir Thomas finished ahead by at least three bars.

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