[Met Performance] CID:12070
Semiramide {4} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/24/1894.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 24, 1894


SEMIRAMIDE {4}

Semiramide..............Nellie Melba
Arsace..................Sofia Scalchi
Assur...................Edouard de Reszke
Idreno..................Pedro Guetary
Oroe....................Armand Castelmary
Nino's Ghost............Antonio De Vaschetti

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

Unsigned review in The New York Times

"Semiramide" at the Opera.

Rossini's study in vocalization, entitled "Semiramide," was performed at the Metropolitan Opera House last night for the second time this season. An audience of respectable size sat through the performance, and applauded each of the principal numbers with great enthusiasm. It is not likely that any one takes "Semiramlde" very seriously in these days. It is a string of display pieces which give the singers abundant opportunity to exhibit the agility of their vocal organs. The music has no connection with the plot, which is very imperfectly explained even by the libretto, and which, indeed, is better left unexplained. It is not a pretty story, but very few of those who go to hear the opera concern themselves about it. Rossini must have known that his book was not noble, for he certainly did all in his power to distract attention from it.

As a medium for singers who have a fine command of the bravura style, "Semiramide" like its own ghost of Ninus, occasionally rises from the tomb. In last night's performance there were three singers who were certainly at home In Rossini's florid exercises. These were Mme. Melba, Mme. Scalchi and M. Edouard de Reszke. In no other opera, except "Lucia," does the now-famous lyric soprano find such an advantageous [opportunity] for the disclosure of her rare gifts. On the first night she had not fully recovered from her attack of grip. Last night she was in perfect health and good spirits. Furthermore, she was more at home in the music. As a natural result, she sang with greater freedom, and her ornamental passages were delivered with dazzling rapidity, ease, and certainty. Her "Bel reggio" railed forth a storm of applause, and in the duets with Mme. Scalchi she was equally successful.

Mme. Scalchi is at her best in the role of Arsace, and she ably seconded Mme. Melba's efforts. M. de Reszke's big voice gamboled merrily through the florid music of Assur. The other members of the cast were the same as heretofore. The chorus, ballet and orchestra discharged their duties efficiently. It ought to be said that the managers put the opera on the stage very handsomely.



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