W. J. Henderson in The New York Sun:
Miss Grace Moore, the young woman of the passing hour, was not making her first appearance on any stage, nor had she been displayed on the moving picture screen before she even began to study. She had sung in Europe and, having been a musical comedy star here, was by no means new to the footlights. But there was no disguising the enthusiasm of the endeavor to persuade the public that a musical event of the first order was taking place.
Doubtless the young woman’s friends, who were apparently numerous, believed that for her debut at the Metropolitan was an event of the first order; but unfortunately the Metropolitan itself has more than once demonstrated that the appearance of a donna on its stage did not necessarily mean that she is of the prime order. Singers of the highest rank are very scarce and the present day opera-going public has become accustomed to accepting something measurably below the rank of diva. Miss Moore is assuredly not a sensation, and even though the behavior of yesterday’s audience, which was supersensitive, did not indicate a conviction that she was.
The soprano has a pretty voice of lyric quality, the color tending toward mellowness and capable of more warmth than the singer knew how to evoke from it. The range was sufficient for the demands of Mimi. In the first act the singer was nervous and her high tones were misplaced and without firmness. In the third act, when she had rid herself of the nervousness, she sang her upper tones with more freedom and something more like focus. One expects a singer who has had experience in a role to phrase her music correctly and this Miss Moore generally did.
She impersonated Mimi with simplicity and wisely undertook no variety of graphics. Two or three rather constrained gestures used over and over and an alternation of facial expression from smile to no smile seemed to exhaust her pictorial resources. In her singing there was little to betray reaction to the emotional significance of the drama. This Mimi walked sedately through placid sensations, and bore her misfortunes so calmly that one could hardly have suspected that her heart was sore. In short, Miss Moore gave a pleasant and fairly creditable interpretation of the role whose finer potentialities seemed to escape her.
On this day in 1792 Cimarosa’s Il matrimonio segreto premiered in Vienna.
Birthday anniversaries of writer Charles Dickens (1812), tenor Galliano Masini (1896), conductor Carlo Felice Cillario (1915) and artistic administrator and writer George Lascelles, 7th Earl of Harewood (1923)
Happy 90th birthday tenor Stuart Burrows.