[Met Performance] CID:16030
Les Huguenots {48} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/8/1896.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 8, 1896
In Italian?


LES HUGUENOTS {48}
Meyerbeer-Scribe/Deschamps

Marguerite de Valois....Nellie Melba
Raoul de Nangis.........Jean de Reszke
Valentine...............Lillian Nordica
Count de Nevers.........Victor Maurel
Urbain..................Sofia Scalchi
Count de Saint Bris.....Pol Planšon
Marcel..................Edouard de Reszke
Tavannes................Antonio Rinaldini
CossÚ...................Roberto Vanni
Retz....................Lodovico Viviani
Lady of Honor...........Mathilde Bauermeister
Bois-RosÚ...............Mr. De Longprez
Maurevert...............Antonio De Vaschetti
Dance...................Maria Giuri

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

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

Translation by unknown

Les Huguenots received 13 performances this season.

Review from an unidentified newspaper

Nothing seems to appeal to our public so much as "a big show." Last evening when Meyerbeer's opera was given at the Metropolitan Opera House the auditorium was crowded as at no other time the present season. Of course it wasn't the work itself that attracted this vast gathering, but rather the lyric "cabinet of all the talents" that interpreted it. The opportunity of killing seven birds with one stone-Nordica, Melba, Scalchi, Jean and Edouard de Reszke, Planšon and Maurel were in the cast-who could resist such sport?

Of course the whole opera again resolved itself into the love duo of the fourth act. Melba was the Queen, a part which fits her like a glove, or to be a trifle less platitudinous, like her new costume in the third act. Worth is, indeed, a wonderful composer! There is next to nothing for the Queen to do in this act. The great foiseur sees the gap and adds an aria in brocade and satin that is dazzling. Melba never looked so well as in that cape with the royal coat of arms on the right shoulder. Vocally she achieved a triumph, as she always does. But in spite of all the fine arias and duos and trios and ensembles the audience was not stirred until the love duet between Valentine and Raoul.

Nordica, who in former seasons seemed a trifle timid in this role, took the bull by the horns last evening. Isolde and Elsa have given her sweep, poetry, authority and she now is as fine a Valentine vocally and dramatically as you can find anywhere.

But a Raoul like Jean de Reszke's you can find nowhere the world over. He threw his whole heart and soul into his work and thrilled the listeners only less than he did as Tristan some weeks ago. Together with Mme. Nordica he was recalled half a dozen times or more at the end of the opera. The entire performance breathed an atmosphere of distinction. Nothing could be finer than Plancon's St. Bris or Maurel's Nevers. Of course, I don't include the ballet, nor the chorus, nor Signor Rinaldini even, who always imagines he is Raoul, Nevers and St. Bris, not Tavannes.



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