[Met Performance] CID:17960
Werther {3} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/6/1897.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 6, 1897


WERTHER {3}
Massenet-. Blau/Milliet/G. Hartmann

Werther.................Jean de Reszke
Charlotte...............Emma Eames
Albert..................Maurice Devries
Sophie..................Sophie Traubmann
Bailiff.................Armand Castelmary
Schmidt.................Igenio Corsi
Johann..................Antonio De Vaschetti

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

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

Werther received one performance this season.

Review in the New York Herald:

"Werther Revived After Two Years"

Massenet's Werther, almost a novelty, for it was seen here only once before, and then two years ago, was produced at the Metropolitan Opera House last night with M. Jean de Reszke in the title role and Mme. Eames as Charlotte, the estimably domestic and conscientious young woman whose existence was the source of such tragic sorrow to Goethe's ultra romantic hero. The story does not afford a composer the same scope for dramatic musical development that that other and more universally known story, as told by the same poet-philosopher, the Marguerite episode of 'Faust,' does, and the performance last evening could not but convince one that with a less gifted artist than M. de Reszke as the hero, 'Werther' must leave the hearer with a very indifferent impression.

The first act would have been positively tiresome were it not for M. de Reszke's singing of "Je ne sais si je veille," and his scene with Mme. Eames as they return from their evening stroll.

Mme. Eames' adaptability to the role of Charlotte was apparent from the outset. The character is one into whose nobility of soul and devotion to duty Mme. Eames' type and methods easily admit her. Her voice was at all times delightful in its purity and flexibility, and in the closing acts it had in it the ring of real passion, not gross and material, but a passion sublimated by anguish of spirit.

In passing it may be remarked that Mme. Eames looked particularly charming as she descended the church steps in the second act wearing a street gown of black and white striped silk, with a big Gainsborough hat to match.

Miss Traubmann was a vivacious Sophie and M. Castelmary a dignified and satisfactory Bailli.

The stage setting was picturesque and included a very realistic snowstorm which provoked the plaudits of the galleries. You felt, however, that if Charlotte had hastened her steps a little more than she did she might have reached poor Werther's room in time to prevent his suicide.

Signor Mancinelli led in a rather spiritless manner, and his instrumentalists got away from him on more than one occasion.

The curtain calls for Mme. Eames and M. de Reszke at the close of the performance were at least a dozen in number. At the end of the second act a pretty incident occurred when some one threw a bunch of roses on the stage. Mme. Eames insisted upon Miss Traubmann taking it. When the latter shook her head Mme. Eames forced the flowers into M. de Reszke's hands amid great applause on the part of the audience and blushes on the part of M. Jean.



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