h1

Margarathe Urbanska, German premier ballerina, at the time of her appearances at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York, 1889

May 9, 2014

Margarathe Urbanska (? Nelli Urbanska) (active before 1889-1908), German premier ballerina, at the time of her appearances at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York, 1889
(photo: Falk, New York, probably 1889)

‘What is technically described as a double bill will be offered at the Metropolitan Opera House on the evening of Dec. 13 [1889], when Peter Cornelius’s two-act Barber of Bagdad and [Joseph Bayer‘s] ballet, Die Puppenfee, will be given… . As for the Puppenfee, it will introduce all sorts of amazing episodes, and will show off, presumably, the beauty and grace of Fräulein Urbanska, the new première. The plot of the Puppenfee has kinship to that of Coppelia and sundry other productions, of which one of Hoffmann’s tales has supplied the basic element.’
(The Sun, New York, New York, Sunday, 24 November 1889, p. 3c)

‘The revival of The Queen of Sheba was effected at the Metropolitan Opera House last evening [29 November 1889] with all the pomp and circumstance required by Mosenthal’s libretto and Goldmark’s score… . Between the splendor of the legendary material chosen by the playwrite, and the brilliancy of the episodes woven into the story, the eye finds in The Queen of Sheba, as brought forth at the Metropolitan, quite as much entrainment as the ear… .
‘Of the scenic attire of The Queen of Sheba … Nothing beheld on the operatic stage in American has equalled, indeed, in showiness, the Queen’s entry into the palace in Act I., and the numerous scenic requirements of the remainder of the libretta were quite as felicitously fulfilled in every point. The ballet in Act III., which by the way, was unusually well managed, introduced that rarest of rare birds – a really young and comely premiere – in the person of Fräulein Urbanska. There was a very large and fashionable audience in attendance, and the singers were again and again called before the curtain at the end of each act.’
(The Sun, New York, New York, Saturday, 30 November 1889, p. 2f)

‘… Fortunately, the scenic artist and costumier is at hand to delight the spectator, and for the third act of The Queen of Sheba some very pretty ballet music has been written. The latter fact has been turned to account this winter, and the dancing at the Metropolitan is worthy of Goldmark’s dainty measures. In Fräulein Urbanska, Mr. [Edmund C.] Stanton has favored the frequenters of the opera house with a premier danseuse whose comeliness is an agreeable relief to the plainness of the average ballerina. Within the recollection of the present generation, in fact, so pretty and graceful a creature has not been beheld in the gauzy attire of her tribe before the footlights. Dancers more prodigal of feats than Fräulein Urbanska have been fairly numerous, but judging from the premier’s performance in The Queen of Sheba, her efforts in terpsichorean pantomime, so to put it, and in that department of her art known as the danse noble, are likely to diffuse lively satisfaction. Last night the ballet was heartily applauded, as it was when first gone through with on Wednesday of last week.’
(The Sun, New York, New York, Tuesday, 3 December 1889, p. 7b)

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: