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May 14, 1933 - Image 3

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1933-05-14

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Merr Mount" Will Be Given World Premiere At Festival Msi

ie School
aduates To

American Opera
Will Be Climax
Of May Festival
Howard Ianson sOpera
Of American Life Is At-
tracting Attention
Setting Is In 1625
111 It ritan Village
First Scene Introduces
Pastor Lecturing His
Sunday Church Group
"Merry Mount," Howard Hanson's
American opera, which will be given
its world premiere at the Saturday
evening May Festival concert, is at-
tracting wide attention, both because
of its musical value and its subject
matter which is distinctly American,
The time is that of May 1625 and it
takes place in a Puritan Village in
It is noon on the Sabbath. As a
group of Puritans are departing from
church, the voice of the young pas-
tor, Wrestling Bradford is heard,
asking his people for their attention.
He speaks of the plans of Satan to
work destruction, and warns them of
the plots of the Evil One. He con-
demns Samoset, an Indian chief, and
denounces Jonathan B a n k s, A.
Shaker, and Desire Annabel who
have been confined to the stocks and
pillory. When they are released, and
the Puritans have withdrawn, Brad-
ford confesses to an Elder of the
congregation, Praise-God Tewke,
that at night demons beset his cham-
ber, and harrow him to sign the
Devil's Book. With the love of Christ
in his heart, he is able to spurn the
execrable shapes. But then "Lasciv-
ious Concubines of Hell" tear at his
body with hands of fire. The previous,
night, Astoreth, the Queen of the
Moon, appeared in his dreams and
attempted to entice him to taste with
her the "Vine of Life." In fear of,
eternal damnation he seeks help
from Tewke who suggests that in
marriage with his daughter, Plenti-
ful, salvation of his soul is assured.
Plentiful is summoned, and in des-j
peration, Bradford implores her to
marry him immediately, but she in-
sists upon delay. As a token of the
coming betrothal, Bradford breaks a,
coin, gives Plentiful half, but as he,
kisses her, he starts back and ex-
claims that it is not she who can
free him from his curse.,
A group of children enter, headed
by Love Brewster, a girl of twelve,
and Peregrine Brodrib, a lad of 14.
Bradford accuses them of profaningl
the Sabbath and sends them to their
Holy Books, as he and Plentiful de-7
Jack Prence, a mountebank, enters
and interrupts Peregrine who hasl
been. questioning tge children on a{
catechism. With his hand springs,t
and his cap and bells, he soon takesl
the children's attention from their
holy services. They all engage in aj
game of "Barley Break."
This jolly scene, is soon dispelled
by the entrance of Myles Brodrib.
Peregrine's father, who condemns;
Prence in attempting to set up anj
"Empire of Jollity," and has him(
tied to a whipping post and thrashed.j
Lady Marigold Sandys, having heardl
the cries of Prence, rushes in to save
him. Bradford, happening to enter at
the same moment, receives a blow;
on the head from the crop whichj
Lady Marigold carries who takes him
for one of Prence's persecutors. As
Marigold frees Prence from the
whipping post, Bradford gazes at her1

in astonishment, for he recognizes in9
her the likeness of Astoreth, the(
Moon Goddess of his dreams. Brod-
rib, with an angry gesture, strides
toward Marigold who calls to her
lover, Sir Thomas Gower, for help.-
With Gower, enters her uncle1
Thomas Morton and Jewel Scrooby,
a parson. Bradford, in a trance, is
oblivious to everything but the pres-
ence of Marigold. Awakened by the
noise, Faint-Not Tinker, the sentinel,
sounds an alarm on a drum and Pur-,
itan men with fire locks and pikes
rush to the scene where they are,
met by Morton's cavalier followers.
In the midst of the melee Elder
Tewke's voice is heard warning the
contestants not to spill Christian
blood on the Lord's day. Bradford,
speaking to the Puritans, reminds
them that they are all brothers in
the eyes of Christ; to the Cavaliers
he gives words of welcome, and warnst

Principals In 1'Jerry Mount'




pocket and grinds it under his heel,
while the Puritans call upon God to
smite the heathen with His rod of
slaughter, pestilence and famine.
Scene I-The Maypole
It is the afternoon of the same
day. The Cavaliers have erected a
maypole on the top of a hill which
they, have christened the "Merry
Mount." As the men and women are1
engaged in a dance about the may-
pole, Marigold, Gower, Morton and
Scrooby enter for the marriage cere-
mony. Just as Marigold and Gower
are about to be pronounced man and
wife, Bradford enters and denounces
the maypole as the "staff of Hell"
and the "beastly tow'r of scarlet Ba-
bylon." He condemns the ceremony as
the "infernal rendezvous of Satan and
his bond slaves" and calling on the
armed Puritans, he attacks the Cav-
aliers and defeats them. Brodrib
strikes Samoset across the face with
his gauntlet while the Puritans at-
tack the maypole with axes.
Scene I-The Forest
As two Puritans are diragging
Marigold into the forest, Bradford
overtakes them, and commands her
captors to release her, telling Mari-
gold that he wishes to wrestle with
her soul. When alone, Bradford begs
desperately for her love. Marigold,
with loathing for him in her heart,
repulses all his advances. Finally,
wild with jealousy at .the thought of
Gower possessing her, he forces a
kiss upon her lips just as Gower en-
Tewke and the Puritans arrive to
find Gower and Bradford in mortal
combat. As Gower seizes an axe from
one of them a pike is thrust into his
heart and he dies in the arms of
Marigold. Marigold utters a dreadful
curse upon them, crying "Lift up
your voices, O ye bells, and cry aloud
with me for vengeance."
Tewke orders the imprisonment of
Marigold, who, he is afraid, will carry
information of the crime to London.
Marigold is led away as the Puritans
carry Gower's body from the scene.
Tewke, left alone with Bradford, up-
braids him for his treatment of his
daughter Plentiful, and Bradford in
deep repentance, kneels down and
prays to God to cleanse and heal and
sanctify him. Utterly exhausted he
falls into a deep sleep.
Scene I-Bradford's Dream,
"The Hellish Rendezvous"
Bradford moves uneasily in his
sleep - as his dreams take ghastly
forms. Witches dance in a diabolical
orgy, a great toad with a jewel in
its forehead joins in the dance. A
hideous monster with its body full of
eyes, goblins with tomahawks, devils
with pitchforks dance grotesque steps
as they sing wierd Allelulias. With
the appearance of Lucifer and his
cohorts, the monsters go mad with
Lucifer mourns the loss of Merry
Mount and summons Bradford who
is horrified to discover in him the
dead Gower. Lucifer offers to crown
Bradford Prince of New England if
he but curse God. Bradford remains
firm in his faith. The Hellish con-
cubines are called to awaken in him
the temptations of the flesh; he dis-
misses them with a curse. At this
moment Marigold as Astoreth, the
Moon Goddess, appears and Brad-
ford's will is broken. He burns with
desire for Atoreth. At the suggestion
of Lucifer that he might pos'sess her
if he forswears God, Bradford is
about to sign the Evil Book, when
Lucifer stops him. saying; "Hold,
first shalt thou and curse New Eng-
land." Beginning in a choked voice.
but - gradually mounting to a shrill
cry, Bradford calls down "tempest,
thunderstorm, desolating fires, pes-
tilential fever, earthquakes and war"
upon New England. Lucifer removes
his crown and places it upon the

Beautiful Star
Will Appear In
Hanson Opera
Leonora Corona, who will sing in
"Merry Mount," has been called one
of the most strikingly beautiful sing-
ers on the stage of the Metropolitan
Opera House. The New York Amer-
ican said: "Her address to the ear is
as potent as her appeal 6o the eye."
This American-born soprano, is a
native of Dallas, Texas, the daughter
of a judge. In her home city one of
the Metropolitan Opera House con-
ductors heard her. After a year's
study in New York she studied in
Italy for a period and made her oper-
atic deput in "Mefistofele". Then fol-
lowed many engagements in Milan,
Lisbon, Barcelona and Monte Carlo.
She made her debut at the Metro-
politan Opera House as Leonora in
"Trovatore," and has sung many
leading roles there.
lates his dream to the horrified
Plentiful and rushes from the forest
in the hope thali he migh' savb
New England from his dreadful
Scene H-In the Village
an hour later.
The Indians, led by Samoset, have
set fire to the village. The church
and the neighboring buildings are in
glazing ruins. Dire distress and chaos
mark the scene. Love Brewster is
dragged in by an Indian who plunges
his tomahawk into her skull. At the
sound of a shot, Samoset falls dead
with a bullet in his head, while all
the Indians are awed to silence. They
lift his body and disappear with it
into the forest. Tewke and the Pur-
itan women and children steal cau-
tiously from the woods with cries of
grief and painful wails. With the en-
trance of Bradford and Plentiful, the
people beseeth their pastor to pray
for them. Bradford in an agony of
grief replies, "Nevermore shall prayer
ravish these lips." As Marigold. wan-
ders in, she hears Bradford branding
her as a witch and the source of
all their distress. Marigold's only
reply is that she desires death and
respite from "this world of mad and
bloody men." As she calls upon the
name of her lover Gower, Bradford
is infuriated beyond all control and
in a moment of frenzied anger, he
renounces God. The Puritans are
about to stone him to death when
he reveals to them the mark of Satan
on his forehead. With awful words
he calls the furies of the pit to en-
circle him with fire. From the ashes
of the church flames arise. Brad-
ford takes the fainting Marigold in
his arms and strides with her into
the flames. while the terrified Puri-
tans fall upon their knees and offer
prayers to God. °
EL PASO, Texas, May 13.-(/P)-
Kenneth Kirby, 21 years old, totally
blind senior student at-Austin High
school, El Paso, will be salutatorian
at the coming graduation exercises.

Festival Singer
Is Praised By
Public, Critics
Thomas Recognized As
Leading Drawing Card
Of Present Season
John Charles Thomas, who will
sing at the May Festival, is recognized
as one of the outstanding drawing
cards of the present season. He has
been acclaimed throughout the world.
With the Chicago Civic Opera Com-
pany, his success brought forth the
enthusiastei econiums of music crit-
ics and the public at large. In San
Francisco and Los Angeles, the same
situation held true, while with the
Philadelphia Opera Company, he
forged to the front. Only recently
he has been scheduled as one of the
important additions to the roster
of the Metropolitan Opera Company
for next season.
He was specially selected to sing
the role of "Wrestling Bradford" in
the world premiere of Howard Han-
son's American o p e r a, "Merry
Mount." This opera will be given at
the Metropolitan Opera House next
year according to present plans, and
while no announcement as to the cast
has been made, it is assumed that he
will sing the important baritone lead
New York, Pittsburgh, Atlanta,
Baltimore, and other American cities
are enthusiastic over his work. His
unprecedented' success both in opera
and in concert, places him among the
most important singers that this
country has produced.
His career is romantic. His father
was a Methodist minister and as a
young man a medical career was
planned for him, but he suddenly
turned to music. He first won re-
nown in the field of light opera, and
his performances in "Maytime" and
"Apple Blossoms" are vividly remem-
bered. His name was emblazoned in
electric lights on Broadway and he
was one of the highest paid stars
in that field. He determined how-
ever, to pursue the more serious
forms of his art. His career in grand
opera began in Europe, first at the
Royal Opera House, later at Covent
Garden and then at Berlin and
His singing of the leading role in
"Merry Mount" at Ann Arbor has
attracted the attention of music cri-
tics, music lovers, and concert goers
throughout the land and many dis-,
tinguished visitors from far and wide
will be present to hear his perfor-

tive season, was founded in 1891 by
Theodore Thomas and is supported
by a number of public-spirited Chi-
It has had but two conductors,
Theodore Thomas from 1891 to 1905
and Frederick Stock, the present
conductor, since 1905. Its regular
membership is 99 players. Its con-
ductor, Frederick Stock, was chosen
from the ranks of the orchestra after
the death of Mr. Thomas, and after
consideration of all the greatest con-
Jagel 'Ranked
With Top Stars
By Noted Critic
Ietropolitan Tenor is
Compared With Italian
Operatic Singers
"The new tenor of the Metropol-
itan Opera Association can hold up
his head and his voice with the best
of the Italian stars," wrote Irving
Weil, New York critic, after he had
heard this American tenor's operatic
Mr. Jagel, who will sing in the May
Festival, was born in Brooklyn. He
studied music as a child with his
father, who was a church organist.
He continued to study music dur-
ing his high school days but a busi-
ness career was planned for him.
Plans were in vain however, for the
young man was not interested in
business but insisted upon music.
Through the patronage of a wealthy
New York merchant, opportunities
were provided him for study under
great masters, both in New York
and abroad. His progress was rapid,
steady and gratifying. In Italy he
first sang at the Capitol and Rivoli
Theatres. He made his great operatic
debut at Livorno, birthplace of Mas-
cagni, singing the role of Rodolfo in
"Boheme." His triumph was so suc-
cessful that he was engaged for a
long series in Turin, Spezia, Bologna,
Rome, Ravenna and other cities in
Holland, Italy and Spain. During this
period he sang 194 major perform-
ances. Three years ago the height of
his ambition was attained, when he
became a leading tenor at the Met-
ropolitan Opera Association.

Chicago Symiphony Will Pha
Here For Twenty-Ninth Timw
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, ductors of Europe. This is pirobably
which will be heard at the May Fes- | the only instance on record where
tival foi' the twenty-ninth consecu- $ an orchestra of the rank of the Chi-

s cago Symphony has entrusted so im-
portant a post to one then so little
known to the world of music, and
with such signal success.
For the first fourteen years of its
existence it was known as "Chicago
Orchestra"; for the next seven and
one half years as "Theodore Thomas
Orchestra"; and is now known by
the title of "Chicago Symphony Or-
chestra, founded by Theodore Thom-
as." It is the third oldest orchestra
in America. Its "season" is 28 weeks
(from the middle of October to the
end of April), during which it gives
126 concerts.
It owns its own home, Orchestra
Hall, located on Michigan Avenue, in
the heart of the city, with seating
capacity of 2,582; it was built in 1904
by popular subscription. About 8,500
different people contributed to the
fund in amounts ranging from 10
cents to $25,000, each of which was
an outright gift.
The affairs of the orchestra are
controlled by a governing body of 40
men, known as The Orchestral As-
sociation. Appointment to that body
is for life, and membership is con-
sidered an honorable distinction.
Membership carries with it no finan-
cial obligations of any nature. The
orchestra always has been distinctly
a "community affair" in Chicago, the
financial burdens of its earlier years
being distributed among many people,
its financial support never having
been regarded as th "pet hobby"
of any one rich man.
Frederick Stock, the conductor of
the orchestra, was born -in Julich,
Germany. His career has been one
of the most remarkable of moderni
musicians. His father was a band-
master, and was his son's first tutor.
At 14 he entered the Cologne Con-
servatory, from which institution he
was graduated as a violinist. He later
studied theory and composition un-
der Humperdinck, Zoelner, Jensen
and Wuellner. He came to America
in 1895 to become a member of the
Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Four
years later he was made its assist-
ant conductor u n d e r Theodore
Thomas, and on the death of Mr.
Thomas, in January 1905, succeeded
him in the conductorship. He was
given the Honorary Degree of Doc-
tor of Music by Northwestern Uni-
versity in 1915, by the University of
Michigan, in 1924, by the University
of Chicago in 1925, and by Cornell
College (Iowa) in 1927; decorated
Chevalier Legion of Honor (France)
in 1925. Mr. Stock is also a com-
poser of international reputation.
Like most men of exceptional success,
he has a very pleasing personality
and wins the friendship and support
of all those with whom he comes in
Hanson Won Prix
De Rome In 1921
Howard Hanson, composer of the
opera "Merry Mount," at the age of
26 won the first American Prix de
Rome competition in 1921. He has
been director of the Eastman School
of Music since 1924. Regarded by
critics as one of the foremost Amer-
ican composers, he has more than a
score of compositions to his credit.
Michigan League Ballroom
Friday, May 19
1 iTickets at League, Hut, Den, Parrot
$1.50 per couple plus tax

Former Student At University
Will Appear In Merry Mount'

Chase Baromeo, whose full name is
Chase Baromeo Sikes, attracted much
attention while a student in the Uni-'
versity because of his brilliant sing-
ing in the several student musical
organizations, such as the Michigan
Union Opera, Glee Club, and the Uni-
versity Choral Union. While still aC
student he was called upon to sing
several minor roles at the Festivals.:
During the war he was in service
in hurope and at its conclusion he
continued his music studies in Italy.
In short time he was engaged for
leading roles at La Scala, spending
the summer months at the Colon
Theatre, South America. After sev-
eral years in the opera houses
abroad, he was invited to the Chicago
Civic Opera Association and was re-
garded as one of the most import-
ant operatic figures on the roster of1
that institution's list of stars.


______ _- - --i

them to beware of Satan whose head of Bradford after. he has with a
"imps and burning devils swarm crimson mark branded his forehead.
about like the frogs of Egypt." But With the departure of Lucifer, Brad-
he learns that Marigold is to wed ford and Astoreth are left alone.
Gower that very afternoon, blinded . ACT III
by a fit of violent anger, he urges Scene I--Soon afterward. Same as
the Puritans to attack the Cavaliers . Act II, Scene II
that very day in spite of the truce Plentiful watches over the dream-
they swore. Plentiful steals toward ing Bradford. He cries out in his
Bradford and as she touches his arm. troubled sleep to Astoreth and sud-
he takes the half coin from his denly awakens. Springing up he re-

vm yocit~eiie

OveCftr the o ter
W6'oo $7,r-% - $ 0
(If Festival Coupon is returned, $3.00 - $4.00 - $5.00)
for individual concerts beains Saturday, May 13th.




i 1

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