[Met Performance] CID:10470
Fidelio {29} Matinee ed. Metropolitan Opera House: 01/16/1892.


Metropolitan Opera House
January 16, 1892 Matinee
In Italian


Leonore.................Lilli Lehmann
Florestan...............Paul Kalisch
Don Pizarro.............Antonio Magini-Coletti
Rocco...................Edouard de Reszke
Marzelline..............Mathilde Bauermeister
Jaquino.................Antonio Rinaldini
Don Fernando............Lodovico Viviani

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

Unsigned review in The New York Times


It would be idle to speculate as to the causes for the failure of Beethoven's noble opera "Fidello" to draw a large audience at the Metropolitan Opera House last night [sic]. It may be said, however, that the work is not of the kind which appeals to lovers of the genuine brand of Italian opera, and Patti is still lingering in this neighborhood and drawing all the money of the admirers of the dear art of bel canto. The performance deserved a larger house, for in most respects it was admirable and quite up to the level of recent seasons of grand opera in German. The significant parts of this lyric drama are in the hands of the principal artists without the often disturbing influences of chorus and ballet, and when these principal artists are such as appeared last night the results are edifying.

Mme. Lehmann's interpretation of Leonora is quite familiar to New York music lovers. It does not change its character with its linguistic dress. "Fidelio" is as thoroughly German in the Italian tongue as it would be in French and is in its original form, and Mme. Lehmann's impersonation of the heroine is always a noble exemplification of those lyrico-dramatic methods which we call German because the Germans know and practice no others, The great soprano was in good voice last night and sang her music with all her old-time vigor.

Herr Paul Kalisch was the Florestan, and furnished a fitting companion picture to his wife's Leonora. He sang with abundant vocal power, with unfailing devotion, and with a fine appreciation of the dramatic significance of his measures. The Rocco was Edouard de Reszke, who appeared for the first time in his life in the part. It is said, moreover, that he had never heard a performance of the opera before last night. Taking these facts into consideration, he deserves only warm praise for his work. He always displays deep artistic sincerity, and he always sings well. Such dramatic shortcomings as he showed last night were due entirely to unfamiliarity with the opera.

Mlle. Bauermeister was the Marcelline, Signor Rinaldini the Jacquino, and Signor Magini-Coletti the Pizarro. The chorus behaved itself pretty well, but the orchestra was not a moving factor in the performance. Herr Louis Saar conducted. To-morrow evening "L'Atricaine" will be sung, and M. Lassalle, the eminent French baritone, will make his American debut.

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