The courier. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1894-1903, June 10, 1899, Page 3, Image 3

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Tho Pittsburg Grand Opora BeaBon,
tho last engagement of tho Metropolitan
opera company before it disbanded nnd
severally departed for Europe, wbb
something loLg to be remembered. It
was tho cloBing of tho most gloriouB
opera season America has ovor scon,
and this dirty, gloomy, city arrayed
itself in dreBB coats and imported toil
ottoB and ju9t got up and did itself proud
in honor of tho event. Pittsburg !b
noted for taking itself BoriouBly, and it
is frantically busy seven daya out of
tho week tho whole year round, but
when it decides to take a holiday, it
does it with a vengeance, as tho great
financial succobb of tho opera season
hore proved to Mr. Maurico Grau, to
whose stony heart only dollars speak.
Lohengrin, with the following cast,
waH th3 opera selected for the opening
El sa von Brabant Mme. Nordica
Ortrud, Mme. Schumann-Heink
Deinriub, duetecher
M. Edouard do Reszko
Friedrich von Tolramund,
Mr. David Bispham
Der Heeiufer doa Koenigs,
Mr. Lempriore Pringlo
Lohengrin, M. Jean de Reezko
Conductor, Herr Schalk.
Certainly all the living talent of the
world could not furnish a bettor cast.
It was Jean do Rezke'e sole appearance
and it took much tact and more gold to
woo that haughty tonor so far from the
coast. Ae for the performance, no com
pany can uniformly give performances
of such merit, it was one of those for
tunate things that happens only oc
casionally. Madame Nordica told me
in tho afternoon when 6ho was run
ning ovor the score at hor hotel that
she had a premonition that tho night
would bo a triumphant ono. Perhaps
she thought so because she found her
self in unusually good voice, but she
was cot mistaken. It was not the first
time I bad bad the pleasure of hearing
her Elsa, but it was tho first time I ever
heard her sing it bo well. She is less
attractive physically this season than I
have ever seen her, for she happens to
be unpardonably stout. She has the
most mercurial averdupois j know of,
one winter she is almost slender, the
next, she is like a matronly dowager.
As G Bernard Shaw says, "you never
can toll." But after all she is a mere
sylph besido Schumann. I never saw
her give herself out to her audience as
sho did that night. She is becoming a
proficient actress, that determined wo
man from Maine with tho strong chin
and big, firm hands, like a man's. It
is difficult for her to act, but her whole
life has boon one long, laborious van
quishing of difficulties. Her very en
trance in the first act gives you con
fidence in hor. This is no timid, sim
pering Elea. She comes in regally, con
fident, fearlessly, unstained by that
serene hope in a mystic deliverance.
Whon tho herald calls for her defender,
she awaits him with perfect assurance
Not until the call has been given tho
third time does the begin to doubt, and
oven then, when she rises from her
knees at tho cIobo of her prayer, hor ia shining with the fullnosB of her
faith. And then ho camo, tho groat
Jean, the deliverer, tho greatest tenor
and ono of tho great&st actors of his
time. Ho was past fifty when I beard
him in Chicago four years ago, yot he
stood thoro in tho Bwun-boat tbe radi
ant incarnation of youth and chivalry,
tho dream-knight of all dreams. And
his entrance dooB what the entranco o
a great artist always doeB, it imparted
convincing roality to ovorythlng and
completed tho illusion of tho theatre.
Tho Bwan which drow this splondld
flguro in silvor armour wub a roal swan,
tho painted river flowed along liko any
other river, thero waB a wind playing in
tho rushes, und thoro was a real
Mount Monsalvat eomowhoro in tno
world, for this man could only have
come from thot placo "which is bright
forever." At tho first note of tho Bong
to tho Bwan, onofolt that it was Joan
indeed, and at tho cIobo of hia long and
arduous season his voico was fresh,
unworn, exquisitely foxiblo, and his
manner of using it ia as wonderful as
ovor, whon all is said, it is in his vocal
ization that do RoEzko is unparalleled.
Had ho noxt to no voico at all, liko the
superb Maurol who can sing with u
complotely worn-out organ, ho would
still bo a consummate artist. His voico
is indeed a thing of beauty, but his
method of using it is a joy forever. It
in the mothod that makes tho artist.
The organ itself is purely accidental,
and like most of tho gifts of God is
frequently ill bestowed, but tho use of
uh that is whoro the cerebral Ubbuo
comes in, and energy and tusto and
ambition and suporhuman industry and
all that makes a man. Hore is a bary
tone who haB mado himself the princo
of tonore. who arranges every phruBo as
a painter lays on bis colors, who pro
duces every tone in his brain as woll aa
in hiB throat, who makes tono but the
garment of tho mind as flesh is tho
garment of the soul, who makes of hiB
voice bd instrument under porfoct con
trol and plays upon it what ho wills.
The mechanical perfection of the regis
tration, the breathing and placing, they
are the achievements of a life-time of
endeavor and aro the joy of all young
artists. But of the emotional resources
of this voice, of its perfect adaption to
every shade and degree of every pas
sion, of its freshness and sweetness and
bloom, its poetic quality blended with
robust virility, what shall be said? Tho
language has been beggared of adjec
tives to describe it, yot none of them
reach it. Someone has called his sing
ing of the Swan song "the milk and
honey of music." Certainly he i9 tho
only tenor we have today whose ten
derness is wholly without effeminacy, or
whoso voico can riso clear, melodious
and true, to the full measure of tragedy,
and then there is, undeniably, a deep
sentimental quality, that baffling minor
tinge that is in the acting of Modjeska
and the music of Chopin. Perhaps it
is only the cry of unhappy Poland, for
which we have no name, a sort of echo
that Polish mothers sang.
When the swan had gone and Lohen
grin turned to Elsa thore seemed noth
ing abrupt or hasty about bis wooing.
It was the day of the Arthurian legends
come back again, when the knight camo
with hiB nobility stamped upon his face,
and the maiden's helplessness was her
strength. And this Elsa and this
Lohengrin have Bunj that duet so often
that their vory voices soom to woo each
other. When De Reezke sings "On tho
king of kings I call," he looks King
Arthur indeed, and ono can well beliovo
that in the dnys of knight-hood thoro
was a Grail indeed.
It ia that wonderful artist Mme.
Schumann-Heink who dominates the
second act. Biapham's Frederick is
wonderfully dramatic, but this ortrude
was liko nono ever seen before. This
Schumann-Heink, with her peasant
faco and hor absurd dumpy littlo figure
and short arms simply has unlimited
power. She sins down everything
before hor. She mikes you forgot that
she is not beautiful, and Heavens!
what a triumph a woman achieves
whon sho does that. Hor scornful
daunts at her lover's cowardice and
weakness, hor impassioned appeal to
Elsa, hor insatiable hatred, hor crafty
poisoning of that guiloes maidon'n mind,
aro all vory triumphs of art. Sho bo
complotely subordinates Nordica in that
act that thoro can bo no quoBtion that,
within hor limitations, alio in tho groator
artist of tho two. Tho second act was
not, on this occasion, Nordica's best.
In hor eolo "Yo wandering breeze" on
tho lmlcony, ono noticed that old in
flexibility, that hardnoes of tono Hut in
her youngor days usod bo ofton to
dotract from tho ofToctivnnosa of hor
Tho third act, whon do ReBzko sings
Lohengrin, ie something novor to bo for
gotten. Tho music of that nuptual
duot Ib probably tho most pootic Wag
nor ovor wioto, and certainly tho man
who sang it has a poot'B bouI shut up in
his throat. Whon ho led Elsa to tho
window, I nssuro you ho brought tho
stillness and boauty of tho summer
night into tho hot air of tho play houso.
I wish that ovory analytical Btudont of
litoraturo, ovory misguided person who
counts tho falso rhymes in Sponcor and
exultantly toars Browning's liguros to
pieces, or kills a flowor to find its name,
could have hoard him sing that tondor
romouE trance:
''Dost thou breathe the incense of the
Bearing a tide of deep, mysterious joy?
And would'st know whence this rapture
Ask not, O love, lest thou the charm
It was liko Bomo divine, compas
sionate wisdom pleading with the nar
row vision and petty prido of fretful
pedantry. But poor, dull Elsa wbb a
German lady of a philosophical bent of
mind and she wanted a name for every
thing and could not believo in a joy
which sho could not analyse. So gontly
ho entreated her, eo fair tho moonlight
wap, so sweot tho night, so lovely all the
world, yot poor practical Elsa could
only cry "Tho namo, givo mo tho namel"
Woll, sho got it, and bo do tho people
who construct systems for measuring
tho value of poetry, but at what a cost!
They got tho na-ne, and perhaps acquire
vast erudition, but they lose tho knight,
and Mount Monsalvat, and the bright
temple of the Grail and all the rest of
it. I have heard a good many argu
ments against the methods of the peo
pie who count the pontic words in
Tennyson, but I never board one eo
powerful or bo beautiful as tbat which
Jean de Rerzke sang that night.
I was talking with Mme. Nordica
about Elsa's particular variety of stu
pidity after the performance, when she
was getting from the airy draperias af
fected in Brabant into a Paris street
dress. "Yob," she said, "that is in all
Wagner, that too much unalysis de
stroys; that, and tho opportunity of the
moment. For thn gods there ia Wal
halla and forevet and a day, but for
mortals there is only tho moment, and
that is dying oven whilo it Ib being born.
Loavo Chicago every Thursday via
Colotadu and Scenic Route to San
Francisco and Los Angoles.
Southern Route leaves Chicago ovory
Tuesday via HansaB City, Ft. Worth and
El Paso to Loe Angeles.
These Excursions Cars are attached to
Fast Pas enger trains and their popu-
larity is evidence that we offer tho best.
Accompany these excursion and save
money for tho lowest rate tickets are
available in these nonular Pullman
Tourist cars.
Tiik Coukif.u is for sale at all load
ing newsstand. Subscription price for
ono year is $1. 'Phone 384'
LliBS- j
Tho following aro the ofilcors of tho
Genoral Federation of Womon's clubs:
President Mrs. Robocca D. Lowo
Atlanta, Ga.
Vico Preflidont Mrs. Sarah S. Piatt,
Donvor, Colo.
Recording Socrotary Mrs. Emma A.
Fox, Dotroit, Mich.
Corresponding Socrotary Mrs.Goorgo
W. Kondrick, Philadelphia, Pa.
Treasurer, Mrs. Phillip N. Mooro, St.
Louit, Mo.
Auditor Mrs. C. P. Barnes, Louis
villo, Ky.
State Chairman Mrs. Louisa L. Rick
etts, Lincoln, Nobr,
Ofllcors of tho State Federation of
Women's clubs;
President Mrs. 8. 0. Langworthy,
Vico President Mrs. Anna L. Apper
Hon, TecuniBoh.
Recording Socrotary Mrs F. II. Sack
ott, Weoping Wator.
Corresponding Socrotary Mra D. G.
McKillip, Soward.
Troasurdr Mrs. 11. F. Doano, Crote,
Librarian Mrs. G. M. Lamberfson,
Mrs. A. B. Fuller, Auditor, Ashland.
Sd many requeBtB for information of
juBt wlrat tho Worcester Club of Massa
chusetts did cay, in regard to restrict
ing membership in tho General Federa
tion have come to this department that
we herewith repeat verbatim the action
taken by that club. It sent the follow
ing suggestions:
To the Chairman of Correspondence
of Maesachueetts for tho G. F. W.'a
Clubs Dear Madame: The Worcester
Woman's Club sends greeting and begs
leavo to submit tho following sugges
tions: In viow of the fact tbat the General
Federation of Woman's Clubs, of which
our club is an individual member, haB
grown to such an immense size aa to
make it difficult to conduct business nee
cossary to the organization, in a proper
manner, under the present system of
representation, wo feel tbat a radical
change in the wholes stem of federation
organization is imperatively demanded,
and, to facilitate such change, would
First That the chairman of corres
pondence for Massachusetts take steps
to ascertain the wishes of all of the clubs
of the state now belonging to the Gen
eral Federation in regard to changing
the representation in the General Feder.
ation from that of individual clubs to
that of representatives from state fed
erations. Second That the chairman of car
respondonce for Massachusetts commu
nicate with the chairman of other states
for tho purpose of ascertaining the
wishes of the clubs in their respective
states upon the same question.
Third That the chairman of corres
pondence recommend to the General
Federation to so change its constitution
that the General Federation shall be
composed of representatives from state
federations only, with the exception of
BUCU nauonai 0" foreign organizations,as
may D0W bel0DS t0"10 General Fednra-
on. and also federated clubs in states
horoiD ,no stato federations now existr,
1 whlch ceHe BPeciaI Provision should
The Worcester Woman's Club hereby
"" iw reauinoss to relinquish its
individual membership in the General
Federation whenever such action shall
facilitate the reorganization of that body
so that it shall be composed of repiesen
tatives from slate federations only."
Vory naturally these suggestions have