[Met Performance] CID:100150
L'Africaine {53} Matinee ed. Metropolitan Opera House: 11/10/1928.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
November 10, 1928 Matinee
In Italian


L'AFRICAINE {53}
Meyerbeer-Scribe

Sélika..................Rosa Ponselle
Vasco de Gama...........Beniamino Gigli
Inès....................Queena Mario
Nélusko.................Mario Basiola
Pedro...................Adamo Didur
Diégo...................Paolo Ananian
Alvar...................Angelo Badà
Grand Inquisitor........Ezio Pinza
High Priest.............Ezio Pinza
Anna....................Henriette Wakefield
Usher...................Vincenzo Reschiglian
Officer.................Giordano Paltrinieri

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

Director................Samuel Thewman
Set designer............Joseph Urban
Costume designer........Gretel Urban
Choreographer...........August Berger

L'Africaine received four performances this season.

Review of W. J. Henderson in the New York Sun

Ponselle Sings in 'L'Africaine'

Gigli Appears in Role of Vasco di Gama in Performance at the Metropolitan

Meyerbeer's "L'Africaine" in its Italian guise stole into the repertory of the Metropolitan Opera House Saturday afternoon. Not a matter of great pith and moment, yet it suggests certain more or less disturbing reflections. Meyerbeer was a clever old juggler with the tricks of the theater and nothing from his brain ever rang true; but who is writing any operas today as good as "Les Huguenots" or "L'Africaine"? But that is enough of melancholy.

The performance Saturday afternoon was not entirely evocative of the best that is in the gilt score, but it sufficed to please a large audience. Miss Ponselle as Selika and Mr. Gigli as Vasco di Gama bore the burden of the day. The soprano continues to display a sincere regard for the elegances of vocal art. Her singing of the opening scene of the second act was an excellent illustration of what can be done by continence of tone, well planned shading and clear outline of phrasing. She commanded and received hearty approval from the listeners. Mr. Gigli was in a mood of exceeding liberality and emitted prolonged high tones wherever they existed or could be introduced in his music. But he was a gallant figure as the famous navigator.

Mr. Basiola was a passable Nelusko, rather husky of tone, but industrious in action. Miss Mario as Inez was in bad voice and therefore a fitting representative of a heroine who was the victim of circumstances. Mr. Pinza pontificated and was orotund as the Cardinal and the Brahmin. Mr. Didur bore a brave front as Don Pedro. Mr. Serafin conducted. The ship blew up quite properly and the nondescript savages, both walking and dancing, moved picturesquely through the processional reception of Selika on her return to her native land.



Added Index Entries for Subjects and Names


Back to short citation(s).