Richard L. Stokes in The Evening World:
The embittered controversy between Mmes. Rethberg and Jeritza as to which was the composer’s choice for the role of Helen – he is said to have assured both of his preference – ended so far as America is concerned with the latter at the head of last night’s cast. Those who hoped for a repetition of the prima donna’s fiasco of last season in “Carmen” were not a little disappointed.
Both in her acting and singing, Mme. Jeritza observed for the most part a commendable restraint and serenity. There were no “stunts” in this portrait, no pursuit of headlines and sensation. Such screaming as occurred was the fault of the composer. Mostly the role was sung quietly, if not beautifully, with something of the repose and control of Mme. Jeritza’s Elizabeth.
But the Helen of legend and of this book possessed two principal qualities which were quite beyond the reach of the Bohemian cantatrice – majesty and seductiveness. For all her stature, Mme. Jeritza scarcely approached a regal, to say nothing of a classic, dignity. The Queen of Sparta, for instance, would not have crept into Althra’s palace like a burglar and examined its furnishings with the curiosity of a street arab. And the singer’s notion of allurement, with her husband as well as with Altair and Da-Ud appeared to consist in ponderous coquetries and writhings, in the vein of a Teutonic Zaza. This was not a Helen to launch a thousand ships, or even a tugboat.
Birthday anniversaries of bass Nicola Rossi-Lemeni (1920), baritone Renato Capecchi (1923) and mezzo-soprano Beverly Wolff (1928).