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April 27, 1941 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1941-04-27

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Y e







Annual May Festival Will Begin May


Tibbett To

Feature Opening Program

Huge Crowds
Are Expected
To Attend All
Six Concerts
Dr. Charles Sink Predicts
Capacity Audience From
All Over Country
Writes Appreciation
Of GrandResponse
All roads apparently will lead to
Ann Arbor the week of May 5, and
more specifically, to Hill Auditorium,
according to Dr. Charles A. Sink,
president of the University Musical
As usual, music-lovers will be com-
ing from all over the United States
to attend the Festival, Dr. Sink said,
in predicting sell-out crowds for every
President's Message
The University Musical Society
is grateful to a music-loving pub-
lie, which, through its gracious,
sympathetic and co-operative sup-
port, has made possible the May
Festival tradition of nearly half
a century.
The Society each year has en-
deavored to present worthy pro-
grams adequately performed by
the leading musicians of the day.
This alone, however, is not enough,
A supporting audience of taste and
discrimination,and of broad and
liberal musical views is necessary.
Ann Arbor provides such an audi-
ence. Artists and other disting-
uished authorities realize this, and
throughout the world the musical
reputation of Ann Arbor stands
The University Musical Society
recognizes and appreciates the lib-
eral substantial support which has
ever greeted its efforts. It also
realizes that this support brings
with it the commensurate re-
sponsibility of ever striving, both
to keep abreast of the times, and
of ever bearing in mind the So-
ciety's motto, adopted in 1879:
"Ars longa vita brevis".
For all this the Society is thank-
ful. It desires to express sincere
appreciation to its patrons and
friends, to the press, and to the
publi n general.
-Charles A. Sink
performance. An unprecedented en-
thusiasm has greeted the announce-
ment of artists and programs, result-
ing in a huge pre-Festival sale of
season and single-concert tickets.
However, Dr. Sink added, there are
still tickets available for single con-
certs for which inquiry should be
made at the Musical Society's offices
in Burton Memorial tower.

Noted Baritone T ibbett Stands
AtTop Of Musical Profession

New Faces

Of May, 1941

Has Made Brilliant Name
In Operatic, Cinema,
Record, Stage Worlds
Acclaimed throughout the world as
a musical genius whose rare talents
entitled him to join the ranks of the.
foremost singers of our time, Law-
rence Tibbett, Metropolitan baritone,
today stands at the top of his prof es-
Tibbett's life reads like a novel. He
made his first public appearance at
the age of six in the local church near
Bakersfield, Calif., where he was
born. At that time he had been
scheduled to sing a hymn but, be-
cause of stage-fright, he startled his

Chinese Theatre in Hollywood where
Rupert Hughes, the novelist, heard
him and encouraged him to study
even more seriously.
Studied Under La Forge
At the age of 25, with borrowed
money, the young baritone came to
New York to study under Frank La
Forge. Six months later he came to
the turning point of his career. He
received two offers: one, to sing in
musical comedy for $300 a week; the
other, to sing with the Metropolitan
Opera Company for $60 a week. Tib-
bett, as is well-known, chose the lat-
Sang In 'Falstaff'
Early in his second season at the
Metropolitan he scored his first great
triumph in the role of Ford in "Far-
staff" which was being revived after
a 15-year period. Antonio Scotti,
then the leading baritone at the
"Met" was singing the leading part.
In , the second act Tibbett sang
Ford's noted monologue in which he
was able to reveal his great ability
and when the curtain fell, the house
burst into prolonged applause. It
kept it up many minutes and in re-
sponse, various of the principals ap-
peared. Then Scotti and Tibbett
came out together and received ova-
tions. Afterwards, Scotti, as the star,
took several bows alone. But the ap-
plause continued louder than ever.
At last it was evident that the aud-
ience wanted Tibbett and none other,
but Tibbett had already retired to
his dressing room. The commotion
grew and 'cries of "Tibbett" came
from all points of the house. But
there was no response.
Finally the lights were lowered and
the conductor raised his baton for
the next scene to begin. He could
not go on,.however;te audience was
determined to hold the performance
until Tibbett came before them. Fin-
ally he appeared and, after an orgy
of foot-stamping, hand-clapping, and
shouts and whistles, the opera con-
tinued. Tibbett had become a star.
Tenor Worked His Way
Through On 65 Odd Jobs
When he worked his way through
high-school and college, Charles Kull-
man, Metropolitan tenor, engaged in
no less than 65 different types of odd
jobs, he claims.
One summer he was offered the op-
portunity to work for a railroad firm.
He took it. Other jobs included post-
al clerk, playground instructor, ap-
prentice butcher, messenger boy, and
numerous singing assignments which
'paid as little as five cents per per-
formance with the choir at his local
church in New Haven, Conn.

11 Soloists, Three
Groups To Appear
For Six Concerts
Four Metropolitan Artists Will Make Local
Debiti; Philadelphia Orchestra, Youth
Chorus, Choral Union To Participate
Lawrence Tibbett, leading American baritone, and The Philadelphia
Symphony Orchestra led by Dr. Eugene Ormandy will open the 48th
edition of Michigan's annual May Festival at 8:30 p.m., May 7, in Hill
The four-day, six-concert affair, sponsored by the University Musical
Society, this year is featuring a "happy balance between new faces and
former favorites." During those six concerts 11 vocal and instrumental
soloists, three ensemble groups and four conductors will make their appear-
ance. Four artists will be making their local debut: Jarmila Novotna, so-
prano; Suzanne Sten, mezzo-soprano; Charles Kullman, tenor; and Mark
Harrell, baritone. Seven others, including Mr. Tibbett, will simply be renew-
---- - --- ---t--ing acquaintance with Ann Arbor





audience with a rendition of "The
Star-Spangled Banner."
Father Was Sheriff
A year later his father, a sheriff,
was killed by Wild Jim McKinney,
one of the so-called "Bad-men" of the
west, and the lad became the charge
of his older sister who first encourag-
ed him to sing. As he grew older he
sold papers, and finally, when he
went to Manual Arts High School in
Los Angeles, he made his way by
singing at churches and for social
His first vocal lessons were given
him by Joseph Dupuy in California,
but it was Basil Ruysdael, the basso
and radio announcer, whom Tibbett
credits with first teaching him to
sing naturally and use his voice with-
out restraint.
Singing under the assumed name
of "Lawrence Mervil", Tibbett por-
trayed "Iago" in his first professional'
role. Later he received a position at
Sid Graumann's then newlyopened'

First Festival In The Nineties
Came About Through Accident


Conductor Johnson Has Had
Full And Spectacular Career

Harrell Starts t
Music Career
On U.S. Soil
Mack Harrell, Metropolitan bari-
tone who will come here for the May
Festival, is just beginning his career
on American soil.
Since 1935, when he filled his first
important public engagement as a
soloist in a performance of "Snegour-
otochka" with the New York Philhar-
monic Symphony Orchestra at a
Children's Concert, he has spent most
of his time abroad.
In 1937 he went to Europe for a
tour of Amsterdam, The Hague, Vi-
enna, Munich, Milan and Budapest.
When he returned to the United
States, he appeared twice as soloist
with the Boston Symphony Orchestra
under Serge Koussevitzky, and with
the Philadelphia Orchestra under
Last year he participated in the
"Metropolitan Opera Auditions of the

Thor Johnson, the brilliant young4
Conductor of the University Musical
Society and the May Festival con-1
certs, has had a full and spectacular
He was born in Wisconsin Rapids
June 10, 1913, the son of Reverend
Herbert Bernhardt Johnson and Mrs.
He has toured extensively both in
America and abroad. He has conduc-
ted more than three hundred per-
formances of the University of Mich-
igan Little Symphony in 30 states;
h asplayed in numerous southern cit-

semble, a student organization of the
University of North Carolina. He has
travelled extensively in England,
Belgium, France, Germany, Austria,
Hungary, and Czechoslovakia, with
residences in Leipzig, Salzburg, and
His professional activities have
been strenuous and varied. He is
Conductor of the University Musical
Society and the May Festival con-
certs, as well as the University Sym-
phony Orchestra, the Little Sym-
phony, and the Grand Rapids Sym-
phony Orchestra. This latter organ-
ization is of professional caliber, and
each year appears in numerous public
performances with audiences of three
or four thousand people, and em-
ploying the services of important
musical soloists.
He founded, and is Musical Direc-
tor of, the Asheville Mozart Festi-
val; founded the Carolina Salon En-
semble; served as Associate Conduc-
tor of the North Carolina Symphony
Orchestra. During the summer of
1940 he appeared as Conductor of
six of the Berkshire Center concerts
with the Institute Orchestra at Len-
nox, Massachusetts, a division of the
Boston Symphony Orchestra summer
school. In Ann Arbor he has also ser-
ved as choir Director of the Congre-
gational Church; and at Chapel Hill,

The Ann Arbor May Festival harks
back to the gay. nineties. The first
May Festival took place in 1894. It
came about somewhat as the result of
accident. A disappointment arose in
the cancellation of a concert engage-
ment, and as the result, the Board of
Directors of the University Musical
Society capitalized adversity and de-
veloped the Festival idea. For fifteen
years, since 1879, the Society had an-
nually provided a series of concerts,
which for the preceding several years
had been brought to a close by the
appearance of the Boston Symphony
Orchestra for a concert in May. In
the fall of 1893, the usual appearance
of the Boston Symphony Orchestra
was announced for the following
May, but through some inadvertence,
the engagement could not be con-
At that period Boston also main-
tained a special travelling orchestra
known as the "Boston Festival Or-
chestra." This organization was en-
gaged as a substitute, but since the
railroading costs had to be borne en-
tirely by Ann Arbor, the Board of
Directors decided that three con-
certs should be given instead of one,
thus saving much overhead. Accord-
ingly, they not only announced the
May Festival, but they boldly an-
Met Indebted
To Toscanit
For Novotna
Rated by New York musical critics
as the most important recent addi-
tion to the personnel of the Metro-
politan Opera Company, Jarmila No-
votna, soprano, will sing in Ann Arbor
for the first time, when she appears
at the May Festival this year.
Recommended to the Metropolitan
by Arturo Toscanini, noted conductor,
she had become one of the musical
luminaries of Europe, appearing at
the Paris Grand Opera, the Vienna
State Opera, the Warsaw Opera and
under Toscanini at Salzburg.
In addition to her operatic achieve-
ments in Europe, Madame Novotna
had been starred in a number of
European motion pictures, including
several of Max Reinhardt's major
production, notably "Die Schoent

nounced "The First Annual May Fes-
The event was a tremendous suc-
cess. The newspapers publicized the
widely. The railroads granted spec-
ial rates. All this resulted in a huge
migration to Ann Arbor. Since few
took the precaution to purchase tic-
kets in advance, many could not gain
admission. To add to the confusion,
there was a downpour of rain all day
and nearly all night; and to make
matters still worse, through a com-
bination of circumstances, a special
train which was to leave immediate-
ly after the Saturday evening con-
cert, was delayed in the yards in De-
troit, and the railroad station was
crowded with waiting passengers un-
til nearly morning.
This first Festival consisted of three
concerts, given Friday evening, Sat-
urday afternoon, and Saturday night.
The next year the event was increas-
ed to four concerts; a few years later
to five; and in due course the present
schedule of six concerts was worked
out. For the first eleven Festivals
the Boston Festival Orchestra jour-
neyed to Ann Arbor. It was under
the baton of Emil Mollenhauer. Then
for thirty-one years the Chicago Sym-
phony Orchestra, under Frederick
Stock participated annually. Now
for six years the Philadelphia Or-
chestra has performed at all Festi-
val concerts.
Albert A. Stanley conducted the
Choral Union in its performances un-
til 1921. From that time until 1939,
Earl V. Moore led the Chorus. At the
Festival of 1940 Thor Johnson took
charge. During these years practical-
ly all of the oratorios and operas
adaptible to concert performance, as
well as many smaller works, have been
performed. Principal symphonic com-
positions have been played, and near-
ly all of the major operatic and in-
strumental soloists have been heard
The University Choral Union, which
(Continued on Page 3)
Pianist Indicates
Mechanical Bent
Mechancal - minded Jose Iturbi
who can repair his own piano o
car, added a Howard five-seate
plane to his personal belongings las
year and favors it as his fondes
r possession.
e "Sonmepenople like to dance. some

Negro Singer
Reached Peak
In Two Years
Miss Maynor Got Audition
From Dr. Koussevitzky
To BeginRapid Rise
Within two years Dorothy May-
nor, soprano, has become one of the
top-rank singers now touring the
United States, to climax one of the
most unusual stories in recent musi-
cal history.
Her career began fortuitously, when
she attended the Berkshire Festival
to hear the Boston Symphony Orches-
tra, and won an audition from Con-
ductor Serge Koussevitzky, who start-
ed her sensational rise to fame.
Impresses Koussevitzky
Koussevitzky was so impressed by
Miss Maynor's voice, that he request-
ed her to sing the next day at the
annual picnic which he gives for the
members of his orchestra. She start-
ed by singing difficult classic arias
by Handel and Mozart, followed by
a group of German lieder and the
Wagnerian "Ho-Yo-To" from "Die
Walkuere". Her professional audi-
ence was quick to acclaim her vocal
Her audition was followed by a
series of engagements with the Bos-
ton Symphony, New York Philha-
monic, Chicago and Philadelphia
Symphony orchestras as well as a
group of recitals, including one at the
May Festival here last year.
Sang In Choir
Daughter of a Norfolk, Va., minis-
ter, Miss Maynor 'received her first
musical training in the choir of her
father's church. At 14 she entered
the Mapton Institute, where she re-
ceived her first vocal lessons.
Following her graduation she ac-
companied the Institute's famed Ne-
gro chorus in a European tour, and
later studied at the Westminister
Choir School in Princeton, N.J.
whose directer, Dr. John Williamson
urged her to study to become a chor-
al director. But she decided to per-
sist in following a singing career
and went to New York for three years
to study under John A. Houghton.
Philadelphia Hailed
By Rachmanino f
As Best Orchestra
The Philadelphia Orchestra come:
to Ann Arbor again for the May Fes
tival with an imposing record in it
41 year history. Hailed by Rachman
inoff as "the finest orchestra I hav
ever heard any time or place in m
whole life," the Philadelphia organ
ization possesses overwhelming powe
, and infinite variety by which it ha
r made for itself a position in the worl
d of music envied by all.
t Organized in 1900, it has develope
from a modest number of players t
e its present eminence under four con

audiences: Norman Cordon, bass;
GregorPiatigorsky, violin-cellist; Jose
Iturbi, pianist; Dorothy Maynor, so-
prano; Jascha Heifetz, violinst; and
Enid Szantho, contralto.
To support these soloists the three
ensemble groups that have become
identified with the May Festival will
return once more: the Philadelphia
Orchestra led by Dr. Eugene Or-
mandy, regular conductor, by Saul
Caston, associate conductor, and by
Mr. Iturbi, guest conductor; the Uni-
versity Choral Union, led by Thor
Johnson of the School of Music fac-
ulty; and the Youth Chorus made up
A full program of the six May
Festival concerts is printed on the
second page of this supplement.
of boys and girls from local schools
and directed by Miss Juva Higbee.
The Choral Union will be heard in
three works during the Festival: a
short unaccompanied composition,
"Alleluia", by Randall Thompson, a
contemporary American composer;
Brahms' "Requiem," and episodes
from "Eugene Onegin" by Tschai-
kowsky. The Youth Chorus will pre-
sent d'Indy's "St. Mary Magdalene",
and will sing a group of three songs
by Gillett.
Besides accompanying the soloists
in the six concerts the Philadelphia
Orchestra will present orchestral se-
lections including Beethoven's Seven-
th Symphony; Handel's "Concerto
for Orchestra" arranged by Dr. Or-
mandy; four excerpts from Wagner's
"Die Meistersinger"; Wagner's Over-
ture to "The Flying Dutchman";
Handel's Suite from "The Water Mu-
sic"; Hindemith's Symphony, "Mathis
der Maler" and Sibelius' Symphonies
No.1 and No. 7 this latter as part of
a commemorative all-Sibelius pro-
gram on which Mr. Heifetz will play
the Finnish composer's Concerto in
D minor.
Continuing a regular practice the
Festival will offer for its last con-
cert on Saturday night, May 10, a
concert version of an opera, this time -
, Tschaikowsky's "Eugene Onegin".
Roles will be taken by Miss Sten, Miss
Novotna, Miss Szantho, Mr. Harrell,
Mr. Kullman, and Mr. Cordon.
A large advance sale has indicated
that all concerts will probably be sold
out, Dr. Charles A. Sink, president of
7 the University Musical Society, de-
clared yesterday in advising prospec-
tive concert-goers to place their or-
ders immediately with the Society's
offices in Burton Memorial Tower.
Singing Of National
s Anthem Wins Job
'e When Charles Kullman, then a
y striving young tenor who had given
- up a career in surgery for music only
r a few years previously, first appeared
s for an audition before Otto Klemp-
d erer in Berlin, he had been in Ger-
many just two months and was not
d solidly grounded in the language.
o Klemperer was looking for a tenor
- for "Butterfly." The American was

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