[Met Performance] CID:11720
New production
Carmen {19} Metropolitan Opera House: 12/20/1893.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 20, 1893
New production


CARMEN {19}
Bizet-Meilhac/L. Halévy

Carmen..................Emma Calvé
Don José................Jean de Reszke
Micaela.................Emma Eames
Escamillo...............Jean Lassalle
Frasquita...............Mathilde Bauermeister
Mercédès................Anita Ibles
Remendado...............Antonio Rinaldini
Dancaïre................Agostino Carbone
Zuniga..................Lodovico Viviani
Moralès.................Victor De Gromzeski
Dance...................Miss Stocchetti

Conductor...............Luigi Mancinelli

Director................Armand Castelmary

Carmen received thirty-one (!) performances this season, thirty of them with Emma Calvé.


From the review of W. J. Henderson in The New York Times

...if any cast offered this season has come near to justifying the epithet "ideal" it was that of last evening. Not that any one person gave a performance which might efface all memories of the past, but because of the admirable evenness of the...individual performances and the fine spirit which underlay the whole representation.

The audience was much moved by Mme. Calve's Carmen, but what will be thought of it in the calmer light of this morning's remembrance it is not easy to tell. ...Her Carmen is a creature of unbridled passion...with a sensuous grace and careless of all consequences...in the second act her impression approached the boundaries of the hazardous. Certainly her dance must have brought up in many minds remembrances of the Midway Plaisance. In her singing she displayed again her remarkable command of vocal color. Some of her tones were almost as expressive as some of her postures, and that is saying a good deal. Altogether it was an uncommon performance, and one that will excite discussion. It was not, however, so forcible in its angrier moods as seemed desirable.

M. Jean de Reszke... achieved a most decided success. His acting was full of eloquence and grace, and his conception of the part was at once manly, poetic, and just. He was in fine voice and sang every measure of his music beautifully....he was one of the very best representatives of the part ever seen on the American stage, and last night added to his already strong hold upon the affections of operagoers.

Mme. Emma Eames...was in good voice and she sang exquisitely. Her phrasing was, as usual, delightful, and her charming demeanor added to the effectiveness of her impersonation. M. Lassalle was the Escamillo, and a most picturesque toreador he was. He sang the popular song of the second act with vigor, and in the remainder of the opera was highly satisfactory. In every way he supplied a fitting complement to the work of the three other artists. ...On the whole, the presentation of "Carmen" was one of the best of the season. The scenery was handsome and the costumes were tasteful. The house was filled... and the enthusiasm was great and well merited.


Emma Calvé as Carmen in the Act III card scene. Photograph by Falk.



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