Music: Drama-Spectacle

In 1919, Broadway saw The Jest, a gruesome melodrama of mediaeval Florence in the time of Lorenzo, the Magnificent. With swaggering desperadoes, vengeful noblemen, witching ladies, it embodies the virtues and vices of pronounced melodrama.

It has been turned into opera, La Cena Delle Beffe by Umberto Giordano, in which form, as presented by the Chicago Civic Opera Company, it presents a successful, gorgeous drama-spectacle. Only Satanic music could express the diabolism of the plot. The score provided, far from being profound as sin, is puerile as the theft of jam. It dares...

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