"The Student Prince"
At the Boston Opera House
Sigmund Romberg, Hungarian-born pianist and greatest living composer of light opera, is of an age which the swift and relentless stride of time has left alive only in memories. His name was greatest when whispered by ladies in ruffled hoop-skirts to frock-coated gentlemen seated next to them in their box-seats. Like those of his fellow-spirit, Victor Herbert, his opera stories are now watery wine to a world once intoxicated by the theme of gay, romantic love bursting Victorian bonds. But despite all of this and much more which could be added from the pens of countless critics who have assigned the cliches of sentimental romanticism to deadest limbo, not a year of the new age passes without a half-dozen revivals of the old. And if Sigmund Romberg's "The Student Prince" provides any indication, it is that the modernistic revolt has left a lot of theatre-going Bourbons around.
The credit for this continued popularity of light opera goes, of course, largely to the music. Though the story of "The Student Prince" is not quite as typed as many others (at least the prince fails to get the sweet little inn-girl, letting throne rule heart) one may be quite sure that it is Sigmund Romberg's score which fills the Opera House. You go because you know you will come out humming the almost classical melodies of the "Drinking Song" or "Serenade," probably not able to say offhand what finally happened to the prince's love affair. As for this production, it is enough to say that both the orchestra and the singers do creditable justice to Romberg's music, with an especially fine bit of work turned in by the Singing Male Chorus.