[Met Performance] CID:10430
Otello {2} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/11/1892.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 11, 1892


OTELLO {2}
Giuseppe Verdi--Arrigo Boito

Otello..................Jean de Reszke
Desdemona...............Emma Albani
Iago....................Eduardo Camera
Emilia..................Sofia Scalchi
Cassio..................Victor Capoul
Lodovico................Enrico Serbolini
MontÓno.................Lodovico Viviani
Roderigo................Antonio Rinaldini
Instrumental ensemble...Ricca Mandolin Club

Conductor...............Louis Saar

Program Note: In consequence of the illness of Mlle. De Vigne, the role of "Emilia" will be taken this evening by Mme. Scalchi, who has in the kindest manner volunteered to sing this role tonight in order not to compel the management to change the opera.


[Note: The Grand Italian Opera Company under Henry Abbey gave three performances of Otello with Francesco Tamagno at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York on 3/24/1890, 3/29/1890, and 4/4/1890 while the resident German company was on tour.]

Unsigned review in The New York Times

METROPOLITAN OPERA HOUSE.

Verdi's "Otello" was performed at the Metropolitan Opera House last evening in the presence of an audience which ought to have been a great deal larger than it was. Possibly the fact that the house is sold out for Patti's appearance this evening may have had some bearing on the size of the assembly last evening. It is well known that Mme. Patti's attractiveness is so great that it diminishes that of all other Italian operatic entertainments which are in her neighborhood. It is hardly conceivable that so noble a work as this masterpiece of Verdi's can fail to be popular with the stanch adherents of all that is best in what we call Italian opera.

The performance had some very commendable features. M. Jean de Reszke was a splendid figure as Otello, and sang the music with a most artistic appreciation of its dramatically declamatory character. Yet without losing that indefinite grace of vocal expression which belongs to his school, his treatment of the r˘le was beautifully plastic, but it lacked the portentous repose which we have learned to associate with the best interpretations of the part. On the whole, however, his performance was an excellent one, and deserved the hearty applause which it received.

Mme. Albani was heard once again as Desdemona. Her treatment of the part is sufficiently familiar to pass without any more extended comment than the statement that her voice showed signs of wear which must have made her old admirers somewhat unhappy.

Signor Camera was a tolerable Iago. At times he declaimed with vigor and earnestness, but in many places he fell short of the requirements of the situation; but his intonation, as a whole, was deficient in subtlety and significance. The other members of the cast do not call for especial mention. The chorus was generally execrable, and the orchestra was hardly up to the mark; Louis Saar conducted. To-morrow evening Beethoven's "Fidelio" will be given.



Photograph of Emma Albani as Desdemona by Sarony.



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