[Met Performance] CID:12930
Faust {69} Metropolitan Opera House: 04/16/1894.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
April 16, 1894


FAUST {69}

Faust...................Jean de Reszke
Marguerite..............Nellie Melba
Méphistophélès..........Edouard de Reszke
Valentin................Jean Lassalle
Siebel..................Sofia Scalchi
Marthe..................Mathilde Bauermeister
Wagner..................Antonio De Vaschetti

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

Note: Jean Lassalle omitted Valentin's aria "Dio possente."


Unsigned review in The New York Times

THE SPRING OPERA SEASON.

A Fine Performance of "Faust" at the Metropolitan Opera House.

A supplementary season of two weeks of grand opera in French and Italian began last night at the Metropolitan Opera House with an admirable performance of Gounod's "Faust." The seats in the auditorium were all occupied, and most of the standing room was filled. More than that, the enthusiasm was as great as if it had been the [first] night of the Fall season. There can be no question of the great popular success of the opera under Messrs. Abbey & Gran. And when such casts as that of last night are offered, this public will always respond.

Strong as the cast was, Edouard de Reszke's magnificent performance of Mephistopheles towered far above the work of his associates, and made even Jean de Reszke's Faust look smaller than it ought to. Last night the great basso was in superb voice, and aside from the fact that he had the best part of the opera, he did the best singing. His acting, too, was never more eloquent nor full of finesse. Jean de Reszke was also in good voice, indeed, his B flat never sounded more sonorous. He sang with his unfailing grace and sentiment, and at times with much passion.

Mme. Melba was not in the very best voice last night, and her Jewel Song went without its accustomed brilliancy. It was not till she reached the "Tarda si fa," that her vocal organs became easy, and there her phrasing and voice production produced their customary effect.

M. Lassalle, too, was a little out of voice, and judiciously omitted the "Dio possente." His death scene had its familiar dramatic value. Mme. Scalchi was the Siebel, Mlle. Bauermeister the Marta, and Signor de Vaschetti the Wagner. Signor Mancinelli conducted with admirable art, and the orchestra did its work efficiently. The new organ recently built for the Opera House was heard for the first time, and proved to be a useful instrument. Its tone is good and sufficiently sonorous. This evening "Carmen" will be given, and tomorrow night "Aida."



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