[Met Performance] CID:10480
Don Giovanni {21} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/18/1892.


Metropolitan Opera House
January 18, 1892


Don Giovanni............Jean Lassalle
Donna Anna..............Lilli Lehmann
Don Ottavio.............Paul Kalisch
Donna Elvira............Emma Albani
Leporello...............Edouard de Reszke
Zerlina.................Marie Van Zandt
Masetto.................Agostino Carbone
Commendatore............Enrico Serbolini

Conductor...............Auguste Vianesi

Unsigned review in The New York Times


Every lover of true art in the lyric drama must have felt like throwing up his hat at the Metropolitan Opera House last night when he saw the large audience. Such an assemblage was a tribute not alone to the good cast of the evening, but to the intrinsic and undying merit of the greatest opera ever written. Mozart's "Don Giovanni," when it is put on with a good cast, is always sure of a large audience. With a poor cast it is doubtful, for no work suffers more from incapacity in its performance than this. However, last night the cast was a good one, and the audience was not only of encouraging size but of warm enthusiasm.

Foremost of the impersonations of the evening the splendid Donna Anna of Mme. Lilli Lehmann will remain impressed upon the memory of those present. Her gigantic stature as a dramatic singer was never more fully revealed than in her delivery of the recitative and aria just before the close of the first act. She held the audience - except the stupid chatterers in some of the boxes - breathless while she sang, and after her exit she was recalled four times with applause and cheers.

Mme. Albani displayed her artistic experience to admirable advantage in the rôle of Donna Elvira. Her voice, unfortunately, and we say this with deep regret, shows signs of wear, and no longer responds readily to her demands upon it; but her knowledge of her art and her fine judgment carry her over many slippery places and enable her to achieve effects that less accomplished singers would fail to make with twice the material at hand. Mlle. Van Zandt was a diminutive and interesting Zerlina, but her voice was in company that was not to its advantage.

M. Lasalle was a fine-looking Don Giovanni, and his impersonation was in strict accordance with the traditions of the Paris Grand Opéra. He achieved a success with the audience, which seemed to have forgotten some more brilliant and dashing representations of the improper gentleman. Herr Kalisch was a satisfactory Don Ottavio and sang his music with taste. But among the men the most pleasure of the evening mine from M. Edouard de Reszke, whose Leporello was wholly delightful. He sang the music with most delightful grace and humor, and both his singing and his acting were unfailing in their dramatic significance. His "Madamina" drew forth very hearty applause.

Signor Carbone was a capital Masetto and Signor Serbolini was Il Commendatore. The orchestra and chorus discharged their duties in a satisfactory manner. Signor Vianesi conducted and accompanied the recitatives on the piano (no harpsichord being on hand) in the good old-fashioned way.

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