[Met Performance] CID:13760
Guillaume Tell [William Tell] {13} Metropolitan Opera House: 12/29/1894.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 29, 1894
In Italian


GUILLAUME TELL [WILLIAM TELL] {13}

Guillaume Tell............Mario Ancona
Mathilde................Lucille Hill
Arnold..................Francesco Tamagno
Walter..................Alfonso Mariani
Gesler..................Pol Plançon
Melcthal................Abram Abramoff
Hedwige.................Miss Ryan
Jemmy...................Marie Van Cauteren
Fisherman...............Roberto Vanni
Leuthold................Antonio De Vaschetti
Rodolphe................Antonio Rinaldini
Dance...................Maria Giuri

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

Unsigned review in…

THE OPERA LAST NIGHT

Tamagno Spoils Miss Hill's Debut as He did Mlle. Drog's

Rossini's tuneful opera seems this season to be a favorite medium for the introduction of new prima donnas. On the first performance this winter of "William Tell" Mlle. Drog effected her debut before an American audience. An extraordinary scene ensued on that occasion. The prima donna forgot her music, became terrified by Tamagno and fled from the scene in voiceless trepidation. Yet it would appear that Mlle. Drog was not wholly without apology on that evening. Tamagno is a difficult artist to sing with. His voice has a strident and peculiar quality, which refuses to blend with the tones of his companions on the stage, and he arranges the tempo to suit himself in so imperative a style that the conductor is put to great anxiety in order to keep in harmony with him.

This matter was marked last evening. Miss Lucile Hill made her debut, like Mlle. Drog, in the character of Mathilde. Our pretty countrywoman was much more successful than her foreign rival. She delivered her [first] aria in excellent style. But when Tamagno came on for the duet, Miss Hill lost her courage, her voice, and in some measure the favor of her audience. Her tones would not blend with those of the tenor, and after struggling as well as her confusion would permit through the duet she retired with the most confused air imaginable. Tamagno never helps his companion singers out of embarrassment. He simply crushes them by his great voice and intensely dramatic acting, and when these are completely discomfited, as Drog was some weeks ago, and as, in a lesser degree, Miss Hill was last night, he strides over what is left of them, uttering trumpet tones of triumph, after the manner of a vocal gladiator who has defeated his adversaries.

In these circumstances Lucile Hill need not be discouraged. She has good qualities which will improve on our better acquaintance with them. Her voice is an organ of pleasing tone. Her mezzo voice is particularly musical and her upper notes are pure and sweet. Her method is very good although further training would bring her into better value. She lacks dramatic expression and there is little color in her voice. But she was extremely nervous last night, and her full powers might not be accurately determined. Even through the veil of embarrassment which enveloped her, the merits of the new prima donna could be discovered.

A little more study, more technique and more self possession will command Miss Lucile Hill very favorably to the approval of the Metropolitan audiences. With the exception of the part of Jemmy, which on this occasion was sung by Mme. Van Couteren, the cast was similar to that of the first performance. M. Plançon repeated his finely artistic rendering of Gesler, Signor Ancona, was once more an admirable William Tell, Signor Abramoff, an excellent Melcthal, and Signor Tamagno, of course, a wonderful Arnoldo. The chorus and ballet were particularly deserving of applause.



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