[Met Performance] CID:13480
New production
Otello {3} Metropolitan Opera House: 12/3/1894.

(Debut: Victor Maurel
Reviews)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 3, 1894
New production


OTELLO {3}
Giuseppe Verdi--Arrigo Boito

Otello..................Francesco Tamagno
Desdemona...............Emma Eames
Iago....................Victor Maurel [Debut]
Emilia..................Eugenia Mantelli
Cassio..................Georges Mauguičre
Lodovico................Alfonso Mariani
Herald..................Lodovico Viviani
Montāno.................Antonio De Vaschetti
Roderigo................Antonio Rinaldini
Herald..................Lodovico Viviani

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

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

Otello received thirteen performances this season.


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

Signor Tamagno's Otello was made known to this public in 1890, as a vivid and powerful interpretation, which justly entitled the tenor to the name of artist.... at that time he gave the impression of uncommon intelligence and high ideals. It is a truth and a pity that some of his recent work [in other roles] has done much to destroy that impression and to convince thoughtful persons that his Otello owed more to the training of the Maestro Verdi than to the natural ability of the singer...

...while Signor Tamagno's Otello has lost some of the dignity that the severe restraint of the master's hand imposed upon it in earlier years, it has lost none of its tremendous power, its sweeping expression of fierce, overmastering passion, and its superb virility of declamation. Some of the very traits of Tamagno's work which calls for condemnation when exhibited in "William Tell" or "Lucia," fit so perfectly into the plan of Verdi's musical embodiment of the Moor that they become virtues. No doubt this is why the master chose him for the role and made him famous.

Signor Maurel's Iago had not been heard here before last night, nor can it be said that the artist himself was at all known to this public. It is twenty years since he visited America as a young man with only four years' experience on the stage. He returns to us with some of the freshness gone from his voice-never a great one-but with his art at its maturity and backed by an authority of which few operatic idols can boast.


From the review of Henry Krehbiel in the New York Tribune

...if the intentions of the composer are to be fully realized it is necessary that they be interpreted by such artists as performed that beautiful task last night. If Signor Tamagno's performance be dissociated from that of his colleagues it would be incorrect to say that it surpassed his previous efforts. In fact, he has seldom sung so distressingly and persistently out of tune as he did last night. But its dramatic forcefulness was brought vividly to the fore by association with M. Maurel. The extent to which these two impersonations supplement each other is altogether worthy of admiring remark. So, too, is the transforming influence of the drama of Boito and Verdi upon Tamagno individually. Between his Otello and his Edgardo, for instance, there is as great a difference as between the ideals of Donizetti and the later Verdi. Wagner substituted singing actors for mere singers in Germany, and with this score Verdi did the same thing in Italy.


Photograph of Francesco Tamagno as Otello by Falk.



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