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March 12, 1939 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1939-03-12

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MUSIC
SUPPLEMENT

LL G

Bk igau

i3att,

SECTION
TWO

ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN, SUNDAY, MARCH 12, 1939
Seven Of 13 Solo Artists T1 ho Will Appear Here For May Festival, May 10,
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GLADYS SWARTHOUT GIOVANNI 'MARTINELLI SELMA AMANSKY NORMAN CORDON' HELEN JEPSON RICHARD BONELLI El

-13
'LIZABETH WYSOR

46th May

Festival Features

Rendition Of 'Otello'

_ _ __ _ _ a

Festival, Founded
In 1894, Survived

Marian Anderson "Made Own
Breaks' In Climb To Success

ladys Swarthout Opens
Six- oncert Series With

War

And Panics

Boston Festival Was First
Orchestra; Plan Created
By Dr. Albert Stanley
Philadelphia Makes
ThirdAppearance
Born during the hectic days of the
"Panic of 1890," the University May
Festival has survived wars, depres-
sions and recessions to become one
of the country's premier musical
events.
Founded in 1894 when Ann Arbor
was more of a farming region than
a cultural centre, the Festival has
attracted nation-wide recognition
for its star-studded programs.
The Festival plan was created when
Dr. Albert A. Stanley, then musical
director, conceived the idea of clos-
ing the year's musical activities with
a series of concerts in May.
Boston Orchestra Came
In 1894, therefore, the Boston Fes-
tival Orchestra of 50 players under
the leadership of Emil Mollenhauer
was engaged. Since that time, with
the Festival a proven success, the
number of concerts was increased
and the Festival period prolonged un-
til it now extends over four days and
includes six concerts.
Since the establishment of the Fes-
tival, only two musical directors have
ever presided : Dr. Stanley, who con-
tinued until 1921, and Prof. Earl V.
Moore of the School of Music, who
has presided since 1921. Only three
nationally-famous symphonies have
participated: The Boston Festival Or-
chestra for the first 11 Festivals,
1994-1904 inclusive; the Chicag'
Symphony Orchestra for 31 Festivals,
1905-1935 inclusive; and the Phila-
delphia Symphony which has ap-
peared since 1936.
Choral Union Important
The Choral Union, composed of
more than 300 picked University stu-
dents, has always played an important
part in the Festival programs. The
chorus has contributed to several con-
certs each year and has performed all
of the great oratorios and operas
adaptable to concert performance,
including several American and world
* premieres.
In 1913 when 'the Festival was
transferred from old University Hall
to Hill Auditorium, the general plan
was expanded to include a large chor-
us of young people from the public
schools of Ann Arbor. The offerings'
of this Young People's Festival Chor-
us of several hundred voices hav
supplemented the contributions of the
Choral Union and have made pos-
sible the injection of a wider range
of choral singing.
The Young People's Chorus will
again be under the direction of Juva
Higbee, supervisor of music in the
public schools of Ann Arbor.
A ansky Famous For
'Choral' She Sings Here
Selna Amansky is a Philadelphia

Jepson's Story
Modern Form
Of Cinderella'
Gatti-Casazza Heard Her
On Whiteman Program
And Gave Her Contract
A modern Cinderella tale is the life
story of Helen Jepson, glamorous so-
prano of the Metropolitan Opera, ra-
dio, the motion pictures and the con-
cert stage. Born in Pennsylvania,
Miss Jepson was bred in Akron, Ohio.
From childhood she had an intense
desire for vocal .expression. After
graduation from high school she
worked at whatever she could find
while waiting for opportunity to be-
gin serious voice study.
One summer she met a director of
the Curtis Institute of Music who
took an immediate interest in her
after hearing her sing. I-e advised
her to apply for a scholarship at the
Institute, which she did with imme-
diate success, winning three in a row.
In 1930 she made her debut with the
Philadelphia Grand Opera Company,
graduating from Curtis Institute the
same year, with high honors.
For a considerable period, however,
Miss Jepson remained in comparative
obscurity, until Paul Whiteman "dis-
covered" her and made her the vocal
star of his radio program. Not long
after, Gatti-Casazza heard one of
her broadcasts, was so impressed that
he immediately sent or her and after
an audition gave her'a contract with
the Met. She made her Metropoli-
tan debut oposite Lawrence Tibbett.
She has since been starred in per-
formances of "La Traviata," "Faust,"
"La Boheme," "Martha," "Othello,"
and Thais," at both the Metropoli-
tan and Chicago Operas. Not the
least of her virtues as a prima donna
is her sparkling youthful beauty.
Bonelli Star
Of Opera, Air
Baritone Proves Favorite
With Radio Audience
In the course of a brilliant singing
career, Richard Boneli, the man
whose life story reads like a Horatio
Alger novel, has earned a popularity
which entitles him to the title of
"Baritone of baritones."
Mr. Bonelli, who made his debut
with the Metropolitan Opera in 1932.
as Germont, the father in "La Trav-
iata," supplements his operatic and
concert appearances with radio broad-
casts. During the past season he com-
piled an enviable record. He was the
first Metropolitan Opera singer to be'
engaged for the Ford "Universal
Rhythm Hour," in a series tha ran
all summer and in addition he made
three appearances as soloist on the
'fVr li. tinx, WTpninm n,

Won First Recognition In
Europe In 1933; Gained
Toscanini's High Praise
The steps by which Marian Ander-
son, who makes her second appear-
ance here in this year's May Festi-
val, has risen to the pinnacle of con-
cert fame are those of a person who
has "made her own breaks."
Born in Philadelphia's Negro quar-
ter, Miss Anderson won her first
recognition singing in the choir of a
local church. This same congrega-
tion ultimately launched her on her
career when it collected a "Marian
Anderson's Future" fund and paid
for her instruction under Giuseppe
Boghetti, well known voice teacher.
In a contest 13 years ago, Miss An-
derson won the privilege of singing
at Lewisohn Stadium with the New
York Philharmonic Society- Her ap-
pearance led to another with the
Philadelphia Symphony Society.
First Success Abroad
It was not in America, however,
that Miss Anderson won her first
important success- America became
aware of her through the praise of
Europe. For in 1933 Miss Anderson
toured England, France, Belgium,
Holland, the Soviet Union, Italy, Ger-
many and Scandinavia, and in each
country won the admiration and ap-
plause of her audiences.
Her program at the Mozarteum of-
the Salzburg Festival was to cap her
sensational tour. And it became her
greatest victory when Arturo Tos-
canini, who was then conducting the
Festival, rose to say, "A voice like
yours is heard only once in a hun-
dred years."
By the time Miss Anderson had
sung at the Vienna Concert Hall and
had "stupefied" Geneva by her range,
reports of her remarkable contralto
had reached America, and her native
land prepared to welcome her back
after years of tardy recognition.
/ Fractured Foot
Misfortune boarded the Ile dec
France with Miss Anderson, how-f
ever, for on the last night aboardt
as she descended one of the steel
staircases her high-heel caught inr
the train of her evening gown. Shef
fell and fractured one of the bonesP
in her foot. The triumphal home-J
coming seemed doomed.
Yet when the curtain rose on the
platform of Town Hall in New Yorkc
a few days later, Marian Anderson
was standing in the curve of the
grand piano. Beneath the folds oft
her gown was hidden her plaster-
encased foot. None knew of this until
the end of the first half of the recital
when the unusual lifting and lower-
ing of the curtain was explained.
Travelled 26,000 Miles
When America had once discovered1
Miss Anderson, the warm praise ofj
the critics assured her fame. During
last year's tour of the United Statest
she travelled 26,000 miles to sing
seventy concerts, the longest and most
intensive tour booked in concert his-
tory for any singer. Shortly before
her sailing to rest in France, Howard"
University, Washington, D. C., con-
ferred upon her an honorary Doctor-
ate of Music.
Miss Anderson's latest tour in Eur-
ope was shortened when Americanl
audiences demanded her return, forc-c
ing her to omit Eastern Europe ande
Finland from her schedule. Yet hon-
ors were heaped upon her during her,
brief stay. The Finnish composer,t
Jan Sibelius,. dedicated .to .the con-

Ph~la deiphia

Orchestra

Martinell, Veteran Of 25 Years
At 'Met,' Is One Of Oldest Stars

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MARIAN ANDERSON

Contralto Seen
Best Among
YoungArtistst
Elizabeth Wysor Calledc
'Most Promising'; Sings
In Range Of 3 Octavesf
Elizabeth Wysor, brilliant young
contralto, has been called "the mostt
promising of America's new genera-
tion of artists."
Her well-rounded and thoroughI
musical background and her beauti-a
fully developed voice indicate that
Miss Wysor's rise to fame has only;
just begun. So successful was Eliza-t
beth Wysor's debut recital in Town
Hall, New York, that it immediately
opened the way to outstanding opera9
and concert engagements.
She sang the role of Fricka with
the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra's
opera series, a rare achievement for
a singer of her youth. She has sung
in oratorio, including an appearance
with the Worcester Oratorio Society;
with symphony, orchestras-one of
her most recent engagements was
with the Toronto Symphony Orches-
tra; in recitals throughout the coun-
try and over the national radio net-
works. She also toured the Old
World from Scandinavia to Morocco.
Born in Easton, Pa., Elizabeth Wy-
sor is of German and English descent.
A career in sculpture and writing first
interested her, but music proved the
strongest of her three talents.
Because she went, at the age of
15, to have her watch fixed, her bril-
liant singing career was foresha-
dowed. The old German watchmak-
er noticed her deep, rich and expres-
sive speaking voice and told her he
was convinced she would become
that rarest of feminine singers, a real
contralto.

Began Career There In
1913, After Getting Start
In Music From Army
Giovanni Martinelli has become
virtually a permanent fixture in the
American operatic and concert world.
At the Metropolitan Opera many
singers have come and gone since he
made his debut there in 1913. Last
year he celebrated his 25th anniver-
sary at the New York Opera.
Yet, until he went into the Italian
Army at the age of twenty to do his
conscription duties for two years, he
probably was a much better cabinet-
maker than a singer. His father was
in the business and devoutly hoped
that Giovanni, being the eldest of 14
children, would follow the paternal
calling.
But the army upset all those plans,
bot by giving him a rifle, but by put-
ting a clarinet in his hands and plac-
ing him in the four-piece band at-
Lached to his unit. Giovanni pre-
ferred singing, however, and was ad-
vised by an officer who heard him
one day, to make it his career. The
officer indicated that he could put
Martinelli in touch with a wealthy
family in Milan who would advance
money for his studies.
Disposing of his father's objec-
tions, Martinelli studied for two
years, and made his first public ap-
pearance in 1910 in Rossini's "Stabat
Mater." Two weeks later he made
his operatic debut in the Teatro Del
Verme in Milan, and resolved to for-
swear opera forever. It seems he
dropped his sword and made several
other faux pas.
But the very next year, he became
interested in Puccini and wen to
Rome for a part in "The Girl of the
Golden West." Toscanini was to con-
duct the performance, and as Marti-
nelli had been singing publicly for

less than six months and in that
period had sung in only three operas,
he was a little ill-at-ease. As he ex-
plains it: "I studied hardon the role
of Dick Johnson in the Puccini opera,
but could make little headway. The
style was different from the other
operas I knew, and it puzzled me. '
"At my first rehearsal with Tos-
canini, my bev4ldef'ment increased.,
I fumbled the lines, mangled the
musical phrases and seemed unable toi
portray the character. Toscanini
glared at me, muttered something
and banged the score shut.
"'It is impossible,' he said, 'you
will not do !'
"I should have been crushed but
at twenty-four I was not' so upset
as I might be today if Toscanini
made a similar pronouncement."
"'Very well,' I replied to the furious
maestro, 'at least I can say that I
have been in Rome and that I have
worked with Toscanini.'
"The maestro looked up in surprise
at this unexpected reaction. Then he
smiled.
"'Let us try again,' he said. 'Per-
haps we can do something'."
Two years later Martinelli was
signed by the Metropolitan, after
creating the role of Gennaro in the
English premiere of "The Jewels of
the Madonna" in the Covent Garden.
His record at the Metropolitan is
familiar. After a triumphant debut as
Rudolfo -in "La Boheme," he has
gone on to sing in 57 different operas.
He has created several roles: La-
Febvre in Giordano's "Madame Sans-
Gene" on Jan. 25, 1915; Fernando in
Granados' "Goyescas," Jan. 28, 1916,
and Paolo in the American premiere
of Zandonai's "Paolo and Francesca,"
Dec. 22, 1916.
In addition to his many operatic
performances, Martinelli has given
concert performances throughout the
United States, Latin America and
Europe.

Bonelli, Martinelli, Jepson
To Sing Leading Roles
In Concertized 'Otello'
Marian Anderson
Returns Once More
Gladys Swarthout, Metropolitan
Opera soprano and star of radio and
motion pictures, will open the forty-
sixth annual May Festival Wednes-
day, May 10 with the Philadelphia
Orchestra under the direction of
Eugene Ormandy. This will be the
first of six concert programs featur-
ing 13 solo artists and three organi-
zations, climaxed by a presentation of
"Otello" in concert form May 13.
The second concert, Thursday, May
11, will feature Selma Amansky, so-
prano, aJn Peerce, tenor, and Rudolf
Serkin, pianist, with the University
Choral Union and the Philadelphia
Orchestra. Prof. Earl V. Moore of the
School of Music will assist Maestro
Ormandy in conducting.
Chorus To Sing
The third concert will be given
Friday afternoon, May 12, with the
Young People's Festival Chorus con-
ducted by Ormandy and Juva Higbee,
with solo numbers by Ezio Pinza, bass.
Friday evening Marian Anderson,
Negro 'contralto who has proven the
sensation of the American concert
stage in the past three years, will re-
turn once more to the Ann Arbor
audience, with the Men's Chorus of
the Choral Union and the Philadel-
phia Orchestra supporting her. -
A second matinee concert will be
given Saturady, May 13, with Georges-
Enecso, violinist, performing with the
Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by
Saul' Caston. Mr. Enesco will also al-
ternate at conducting.
'Otello' Is Finale
Saturday evening Helen Jepson,
Giovanni Martinelli, Richard Bonelli,
Giuseppe Cavadore, Norman Cordon
and Elizabeth Wysor, supported '4
the orchestra and the Choral Union,
will give the concert rendition of
"Otello." Martinelli, tenor, will sing
Otello; Bonelli, baritone, will sing
Iago; Cavadore, tenor, Cassio; Cor-
don, baritone, Lodovico and the Her-
ald; Miss Jepson, soprano, Desde-
mona, and Miss Wysor, contralto,
Emilia.

Gladys Swarthout's Debut At
13 Marred By False High Note

Gladys Swarthout started her;
career at thirteen by missing a high
note in a recital! Singing before fam-
ily, friends, neighbors and school-
mates in the Deep Water, Missouri,
auditorium, Miss Swarthout cracked
on a high note in a difficult aria, and
while a titter was still making its
rounds in the crowd, started all over
again and sang the high note so truly
and clearly that the entire audience
rose to its feet and burst into ap-
plause for the spunky youngster. At-
tracted by the young girl's courage
and talent, a wealthy Kansas City
family in the audience offered then
and there to finance her career.

had learned from her concert reper-
toire and a few days later, was, off-
ered a contract for the following sea-
son.
But if she had neglected her opera-
tic repertoire 'before this audition,
she made amends during the summer
preceding her debut. In those few
weeks, she learned 23 roles.
Proof of her operatic success lies
in the fact that for the past nine
years she has been connected with
the Metropolitan in New York. She
made her debut there as La Cieca in
"La Gioconda" in 1930 and since
that time has appeared as Niejata
in "Sadko," Giuletta in "The Tales

Peerce Began
AsViolinist
Became Featured Tenor
At RadioCity
Jan Peerce's musical career began
with public appearances as a violin-
ist. Born in New York, he began the
study of the violin when he was nine
years old and played in public at the
age of 15. Soon however he became
the leading tenor o. the Radio City

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