[Met Performance] CID:13420
Carmen {50} Metropolitan Opera House: 11/26/1894.

(Debut: Zélie de Lussan, Marie Van Cauteren, Maria Giuri
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
November 26, 1894


CARMEN {50}
Bizet-Meilhac/L. Halévy

Carmen..................Zélie de Lussan [Debut]
Don José................Jean de Reszke
Micaela.................Nellie Melba
Escamillo...............Edouard de Reszke
Frasquita...............Mathilde Bauermeister
Mercédès................Marie Van Cauteren [Debut]
Remendado...............Antonio Rinaldini
Dancaïre................Agostino Carbone
Zuniga..................Lodovico Viviani
Moralès.................Victor De Gromzeski
Dance...................Maria Giuri [Debut]

Conductor...............Enrico Bevignani

Director................William Parry

Carmen received eleven performances this season.

Review in The New York Times


Mlle. Zelie de Lussan Makes Her Debut in the Role of Carmen.

The second week of the season of grand opera in French and Italian at the Metropolitan Opera House began last night with a performance of Bizet's lovely opera, "Carmen," which has plainly lost none of its attractiveness. It was predicted that without Mme. Calvé the opera would not draw large audiences. Last night, however, the house was packed to its capacity. Of course, this state of affairs may not last, but it goes to show that "Carmen" with a good cast is sure to draw sometimes. The cast of last evening was notable for general excellence rather than for any individual supremacy.

Naturally, there was considerable curiosity as to Mlle. Zelie de Lussan, who had to undergo the ordeal of facing an audience accustomed to the unique interpretation of Mme. Calvé. Undoubtedly this made the young woman nervous at first, but she appeared to be quite at her ease in the second act. Her voice is a small one, but it is of excellent quality and has gained in roundness and body since she was heard in this country some years ago. She sang the music of her part with a great deal of expression, and generally with evidence of comprehension of its dramatic quality. It cannot be said that her style has the breadth, force, or authority to bring out the full passion of the music. Her appearance was suitable to the part, and her acting was dainty, if not quite as devilish as the character demands.

The star of the evening, if there can be said to have been one, was M. Jean de Reszke, whose Don José was simply overmastering in its passionate force. His voice was in fine condition, and he used it with unsparing power. He made his customary electrifying effect in the splendid declamation at the close of the third act, and the audience was moved to genuine enthusiasm. There is really nothing new to say about M. de Reszke's Don José. It is one of the finest impersonations of the contemporaneous operatic stage, and last night it was up to its standard.

M. Edouard de Reszke appeared for the first time on any stage as Escamillo, and it almost goes without saying that he scored a success. Such a noble artist never does anything badly, and he made an imposing toreador, both physically and vocally. Mme. Melba was the Micaela of the evening, and she surprised her hearers by the amount of dramatic significance which she imparted to her music. In the romanza of the second act she sang with something less than her customary vocal finish, but with something like real feeling. The other members of the cast were about the same as heretofore, and the chorus and orchestra did their work well.



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