[Met Performance] CID:100050
Aida {334} Metropolitan Opera House: 11/2/1928.

(Debut: Aida Doninelli
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
November 2, 1928


AIDA {334}
Giuseppe Verdi--Antonio Ghislanzoni

Aida....................Elisabeth Rethberg
Radamès.................Frederick Jagel
Amneris.................Margarete Matzenauer
Amonasro................Mario Basiola
Ramfis..................Ezio Pinza
King....................Joseph Macpherson
Messenger...............Giordano Paltrinieri
Priestess...............Aida Doninelli [Debut]
Dance...................Rita De Leporte

Conductor...............Tullio Serafin

Director................Armando Agnini
Set designer............Angelo Parravicini
Costume designer........Ethel Fox
Choreographer...........Rosina Galli

Aida received twelve performances this season.

Review (unsigned) in the New York Telegraph

RETHBERG AND MATZENAUER IN GREAT 'AIDA' HIT

Metropolitan Audience Treated to Unusual Singing in Egyptian Love Tale

Old Egypt came out of its languorous past, and in the sleepy temples, where incense burned and slow moving dancing priestesses intoned rituals, the Verdi masterpiece of "Aida" was again sung. It was the first of the Friday subscription nights and the ticketholders thereof, fared well; indeed fared almost better than any other of the assemblages of the week, including the sacred holders of the [first] night tickets.

It was a cast of brilliant qualities, headed by Elizabeth Rethberg and Margaret Matzenauer. It may be said, in truth, that where the soprano took honors for unforgettable lyric and dramatic phrases, the contralto balanced it with deep, sonorous, bell-like tones.
Rethberg and Matzenauer: Mr. Gatti owns no finer duo for Ethiopian and Egyptian princesses, than this soprano and contralto, voice and voice, acting art and acting art.

Matzenauer Greater Now

The mightiness of Matzenauer, who remains from those golden days when Caruso reigned, is traditional. Matzenauer, who rivaled Caruso in "Prophete" and in "Aida" is a greater mistress of song now than she was then. Jealous, watchful Princess, cruel and cutting, yet loving with all her soul, and watching her betrothed dying in the arms of her maid-servant.

The mightiness of Rethberg is a growing and newer wonder. Such vocalism and pure tonal richness as were given out in the Nile Scene and in the earlier "Ritorna Vincitor," have not been equaled in at least three seasons of "Aida." Both the large and Orientally authentic figure of Matzenauer and the attractive lithe representation of the Ethiopian of Rethberg were pictorially correct, as well (Rethberg was a bit too octoroon, methinks)

Strong Supporting Cast

As to the rest of the cast: Our young American tenor, Frederick Jagel, who made his first appearance of the season as Radames, sang with excellent diction, fine restraint and sense of tradition. True, he was not inspiring, his "Celeste Aida" rang a bit metallic, but he is a satisfactory Radames and never given to moments which go against the grain. Ezio Pinza did the best singing of the men in the role of the Priest, and the young Joseph MacPhearson made a dignified a vocally effective Pharoah.

The debut of Aida Donielli, so well named for the future, came in the role of the Priestess (which is sung off stage). It is a pretty voice and well produced, though a trifle too light for the big house.

Mr. Serafin is working this week; his third opera, and he won again.

The ballet was effective, Miss LaPorte getting special applause.



Added Index Entries for Subjects and Names


Back to short citation(s).