October 4, 1913
Page 1

Possibility of Opening Opera Season There— Chicago Company Also Wanted It

New complications in a situation already sufficiently complex have been injected into New York operatic affairs in the last week through a hint from Oscar Hammerstein that he may use the Manhattan Opera House for a week or two for his new American Opera Company, and also through a report that the Chicago Opera Company wants to obtain the use of the Manhattan or some other theater for performances to be given in addition to those annually scheduled for it at the Metropolitan Opera House.
Mr. Hammerstein has promised that he will give opera in New York beginning November 10. It is likely that his new house in Lexington avenue may not be ready until two or three weeks after that date, and, if that is the case Mr. Hammerstein intends to make good his promise by introducing his company elsewhere. Negotiations were entered into by him last week with Comstock and Gest and the Messrs. Shubert, lessees of the Manhattan Opera House, and it is possible that two or three weeks in November may be set aside for Hammerstein's purposes in spite of the fact that the theater has been booked for other purposes.
The Chicago company also asked regarding the possibilities of obtaining the use of the Manhattan. Oscar Hammerstein is still the owner and grand opera could not be given there without his consent. There is also a clause in the famous Hammerstein contract with the Metropolitan which sets forth that the Manhattan is not to be used for grand opera purposes for five years but Hammerstein does not consider this binding any more than he does the other provisions of the contract.
The Chicago company asked for bookings for two dates in November (the afternoons of the 11th and 18th) and assurance was said to have been given that the Metropolitan directors were willing to allow such appearances at the Manhattan before the opening of the regular season. The Chicago company wanted to appear at the Metropolitan, but this was found impossible because of the need of the stage for rehearsal purposes. However, objection was interposed by Hammerstein, who, instead, offered to rent his new house to the Chicago company for performances when he is not giving opera there himself. He communicated this offer to Bernard Ulrich, business manager of the Chicago company.
"I am willing to let the Chicago company have the new house," said Mr. Hammerstein, "but on no account will I permit them to enter the Manhattan."
The whole situation has become curiously topsy-turvy. If the Chicago company should go to the Manhattan with the consent of the Metropolitan and Mr. Hammerstein shifted the responsibility for such performances to the door of the Metropolitan, there would be a violation of the Metropolitan-Hammerstein contract of three years ago, this time with the Metropolitan directors as the alleged offenders.
"Under such conditions would you permit the Chicago company to play at the Manhattan?" Mr. Hammerstein was asked.
"S-sh! Don't talk so loud," he said in pretended alarm.

Germans Need Musical Shaking Up, Says Damrosch PARIS, Sept. 27.—Before Walter Damrosch sailed for New York he was interviewed with regard to his Summer's musical impressions. "Frankly, I never wish to attend another performance at the Munich Festspiele," he said. "They ask New York prices for what, usually, costs vastly less. I shall never forget one dreadful interpretation of 'Tristan' by a German tenor who knew nothing about singing." Mr. Damrosch confessed he had heard little he admired in Germany. Of Strauss's Ariadne he said: “It struck me as hopelessly dull and an impertinence to Molière. Speaking musically the Germans need a good shaking up. However, in Berlin I heard a remarkably fine young American tenor, Francis Maclennan, who has since gone to Hamburg."

Best Music To Be Heard in New York, Says Damrosch, Arriving from Europe Walter Damrosch, conductor of the New York Symphony Orchestra, reached this city by the Kronprinzessin Cecilie last Tuesday, accompanied by Mrs. Damrosch and their daughter. They have been abroad six months.
"I attended the so-called festival performances in Munich," Mr. Damrosch said, "and the opinion that I always have held in regard to opera here and abroad was confirmed. The greatest opera is given in the United States, and the best music, both operatic and symphonic, is to be heard in New York. The best singers, I think, are either Americans or foreigners who make America their home."
Mr. Damrosch said that he was bringing over several novelties for the New York Symphony, among them pieces by Enesco, the Roumanian composer, and by Fanelli, the French composer.
Eminent Artists Arriving for Season Include Conductors, Singers and Instrumentalists

Largest of the delegations of returning musical artists to reach New York thus far in the new season was that which landed this week. Almost every European steamer has brought its consignment and the influx will continue steadily until the "operatic Noah's Ark," the Kaiser Wilhelm II, brings Caruso, Destinn, Scotti, Gilly, Didur, Urlus, Jörn, Braun, Weil and Toscanini on November 11.
To the first Metropolitan Opera arrivals Geraldine Farrar, Olive Fremstad and Frances Alda there was added Alfred Hertz, the conductor of German opera when the North German Lloyd liner George Washington docked last Sunday night. F. C. Coppicus, secretary to General Manager Gatti-Casazza, was on the same boat with Mrs. Coppicus, and Loomis H. Taylor, assistant stage director of the Metropolitan, who was returning from his honeymoon, was still another passenger. Mme. Gadski and Putnam Griswold came Tuesday on the Kronprinzessin Cecilie.
Non-operatic arrivals on the George Washington included Dr. Carl Muck, conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra; Leopold Stokowski, conductor of the Philadelphia Symphony, and Cornelia Rider-Possart, the distinguished pianist, who will make a concert tour under direction of Marc Lagen, opening at the Maine Festival.
Dr. Muck stated that he brought few novelties. He has one new symphony, however, composed by Noren, and also announces that the latest Sibelius symphony will have a place on one of his programs. Dr. Muck proclaimed a change in policy in keeping with his theory that orchestral concerts should be solely for the orchestra. There will be soloists at only twelve of the twenty-four concerts in Boston and the other twelve will be devoted to music for the orchestra alone.
"I think American audiences have reached the point now," said Dr. Muck, "where they realize that the introduction of a soloist destroys the unity and harmony of the program."
Mr. Stokowski, who has been spending the Summer in Munich, brought back several novelties. including a new French symphony by Rabaud, von Hausegger's tone poem, "Wieland der Schmied," Roussel's overture, "Nachsten von Holbronn," a Viennese rhapsody by Florent Schmitt, Max Schilling's prologue, "König Œdipus"
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