As I predicted, last night’s premiere of Théodora by Xavier Leroux was not a success. Leopold Schmidt mentioned the costumes and sets, the interesting portrayal of Justinian by Renaud, and the presence of an animated Kaiser in the royal box, again with Prince Albert of Monaco. But Max Marschalk did not hold back from writing what he really thought, that “the music of this old hand (“Routinier”) displays a little talent and a lot of frivolity….The public, apparently repulsed by the crass and vacuous decorative music (“Dekorationsmusik”), was not inclined to bestow more than cool, polite applause.”
(In his review in Die Musik, Schmidt elaborated: “Leroux alternates between the expressive styles of Puccini and Massenet without attaining the subtlety of the one or the verve and formative power of the other–but is not without talent, and actually in a few ways is not uninteresting.”1“Kritik,” Die Musik VI 15 (1907): 177.)
Tomorrow night is the Monte Carlo Opera Company’s finale, which will showcase one act each from three different operas. For tonight it’s the regular Königliche Oper, where Salome continues its run, with the composer conducting and Emmy Destinn in the title role.
Edvard Grieg is here to conduct a concert of his music tonight. Perhaps because of the high price of the tickets, a few are still available. The pianist Halfdan Cleve and singers Rosa Bertens and Ellen Gulbranson are the soloists.
OTHER CONCERTS TODAY
- Violinist Friedrich Walter Porges and pianist James Simon are giving their second Sonata Abend.
- The popular concert of the Mozart-Saal Orchestra features the alto Frau Pauline Miller Chapman, accompanied by Martha Siebold, and the pianist Xaver Scharwenka.
- The Berliner Damen-Vokal-Quartett performs with Frieda Kwast-Hodapp at the piano.
IN THE THEATERS
Komische: Hoffmanns Erzählungen
Central: Wiener Blut
Theater des Westens: Die Lustige Witwe
IN OTHER NEWS
Maurice Maeterlinck has been invited by the Deutsches Theater to the premiere of his “Aglavaine und Selysette” (in German translation), directed by Max Reinhardt.
The American dancer Maud Allan performed her work, “Vision of Salome,” in Munich for a private audience. Despite being topless (except for some ropes of pearls) it looks like public performances will go ahead– they hadn’t been allowed in Vienna. (This is a developing story, which will go on for years of scandal and court cases!)