[Met Performance] CID:100960
La Campana Sommersa {5} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/9/1929.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 9, 1929


LA CAMPANA SOMMERSA {5}

Rautèndelein............Elisabeth Rethberg
Enrico..................Giovanni Martinelli
Witch...................Julia Claussen
Nickelmann..............Giuseppe De Luca
Magda...................Dorothee Manski
Pastor..................Ezio Pinza
Schoolmaster............Louis D'Angelo
Barber..................Giordano Paltrinieri
Faun....................Alfio Tedesco
Neighbor................Philine Falco
Elf.....................Ellen Dalossy
Elf.....................Grace Divine
Elf.....................Aida Doninelli

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

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

Rethberg in Respighi Opera

Sings Role of Rautendelein in Last Appearance Before Starting on Concert Tour

Ottorino Respighi's operatic setting of Hauptmann's 'Sunken Bell" entitled "La Campana Somersa" was sung at the Metropolitan Opera House last evening for the last time this season. The prima donna of this singular work of lyric art, Elizabeth Rethberg, made her final appearance impersonating the elfin heroine Rautendelein.

Mme. Rethberg is about to set forth on an extended concert tour which will include one recital in this city in the month of March. Her departure from the operatic field will be regretted by the many operagoers who have found pleasure in hearing the beautiful tones of her exceptional voice and observing the excellences of her vocal art.

As she created Rautendelein for New Yorkers, it was logical that Respighi's opera should depart with her. The work has not excited the populace to an unusual degree despite its dramatic qualities and its occasional flights into the rarer atmosphere of song. The opinion expressed in this place after the first performance that the scarcity of sustained lyric passages would militate against the popularity of the work has been borne out by the attitude of the patrons of the Metropolitan. They have not coldly rejected the opera; neither have they passionately pressed it to their hearts. They have awarded it a measurable amount of esteem, but successes of that type have never had a tonic effect on the box office.

Possibly Mme. Rethberg may have felt that fate had treated her none too kindly in fastening upon her the role of Rautendelein, which was not perfectly suited to her personality and which afforded opportunities for only a few exhibitions of her best singing. But she must have found comfort in the thought that her selection for the creation of this part may have saved her from any chance-meeting with her Dresden friend Helen. Mme. Rethberg sang very well indeed last evening and her farewell was marked by a great cordiality from the audience.

The cast was the same as heretofore. Mr. Martinelli achieved his stirring dramatic effects as he had done in previous performances and was acclaimed from sections of the house. Heinrich, the bell caster, has proved one of his most satisfying impersonations and has added to his credit as an artist. Mr. de Luca, as the much discouraged frog man who lived in a well and suffered from persistent bad luck, was again admirable. It has been published that he likes the role. It must be a relief to a singer to escape from conventional costumes and find himself all decorated with watercress. The others engaged in the representation discharged their duties competently and Mr. Serafin waved an authoritative baton over the proceedings.



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