It will no longer be news when you read this that the opening of the Metropolitan Opera season was brilliant, glittering, glamorous, grand, awe-inspiring, and (had it been a movie colossal, for these are the words (except for the last) used by my colleagues and myself in describing the festivities.
Lawrence Tibbett was sonorously excellent, Edward Johnson was skill-fully histrionic, Lucrezia Bori was charmingly herself, Leon Rothier enhanced the slenderness of a minor part, and such capable performers as Gladys Swarthout, Ina Bourskaya, Angelo Bada, Louis D’Angelo, Giordano Paltrinieri, Millo Picco, Max Altglass and many others contributed to the finesse of an evening which witnessed the final triumph of enthusiasm over big, bad wolves, whether of depression or mere pessimism.
The afternoon before the “official” opening, hundreds of kids gathered for “Haensel und Gretel”â€”it being Christmas Dayâ€”and received with squeals, whispers, giggles and sighs the gift of roast witch provided by Giulio Gatti-Casazza to supplement their more conventional repast of toasted turkey.
Hans Lange, having succeeded for the time being to the Philharmonic-Symphony’s podium, presented the N.Y.U. Glee Club, Margaret Olsen, soprano, and Theodore M. Everett, baritone, as assisting artists, last Sunday in Carnegie Hall, the program being devoted to works celebrative of the holiday. An obscure piece, the Francesco Manfredini “Concerto Grosso per il Santissimo Natale”, and R. Vaughan Williams’ “Fantasia on Christmas Carols” were high-lights of the concert.
The Wiener Saengerknaben (Vienna Choir Boys) had meanwhile brought into our contemporary scene a breath of the Old World.
The gave a lesson in Haydn, using his comic opera, “The Apothecary”, as text. But before that, they proved the truth of an old proverb, that the only people who know the words to “The Star Spangled Banner” are foreigners.
These Viennese sang itâ€”from beginning to end!