[Met Performance] CID:114050
L'Africaine {69} Metropolitan Opera House: 12/28/1933.

(Debut: Virgilio Lazzari
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 28, 1933
In Italian


L'AFRICAINE {69}
Meyerbeer-Scribe

Sélika..................Rosa Ponselle
Vasco de Gama...........Giovanni Martinelli
Inès....................Nina Morgana
Nélusko.................Armando Borgioli
Pedro...................Virgilio Lazzari [Debut]
Diégo...................Louis D'Angelo
Alvar...................Angelo Badà
Grand Inquisitor........Léon Rothier
High Priest.............Léon Rothier
Anna....................Henriette Wakefield
Usher...................George Cehanovsky
Officer.................Max Altglass

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

Director................Armando Agnini
Set designer............Joseph Urban
Costume designer........Gretel Urban
Choreographer...........Rosina Galli

Translation by unknown

L'Africaine received three performances this season.

Review of Quaintance Eaton in the January 10, 1934 issue of Musical America

'L'Africaine,' With Some Changes

The many who stand ready to acclaim Meyerbeer's "L'Africaine" as one of the most tiresome of all operas had duly set before them the four acts and five scenes of this work the night of Dec. 28, with the privilege of making the most of it. Redeeming features were the colorful ballet of the first scene of the final act, admirable singing by Rosa Ponselle as Selika and Giovanni Martinelli as Vasco da Gama, the latter new to his role, and the general adequacy of the ensembles under the baton of Tullio Serafin.

Time was when to assign so important a role as that of Nelusko - a favorite with many of the greatest baritones of the past - to a singer who could give it so little of distinction as Armando Borgioli did, might have been disastrous; but perhaps, it no longer matters. Probably, for most of those present, the opportunity to hear Miss Ponselle's sumptuous voice in the slumber song and later in the death scene was reward enough; but they also had grateful compensation in Mr. Martinelli's restrained and tonally satisfying delivery of "O Paradiso."

The debut of Virgilio Lazzari as Don Pedro served merely to demonstrate anew the good qualities he had exhibited many times in the years when he was a member of the visiting Chicago forces. His full and resonant bass voice will have better opportunities, no doubt, as the season advances. Nina Morgana sang the music of Inez neatly and the cast otherwise included Louis D'Angelo, Leon Rothier and Henriette Wakefield, among others.



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