[Met Performance] CID:1820
La Traviata {5} Haverly's Theatre, Chicago, Illinois: 01/31/1884.

(Review)


Chicago, Illinois
Haverly's Theatre
January 31, 1884


LA TRAVIATA {5}
Giuseppe Verdi--Francesco Maria Piave

Violetta................Marcella Sembrich
Alfredo.................Victor Capoul
Germont.................Giuseppe Del Puente
Flora...................Emily Lablache
Gastone.................Vincenzo Fornaris
Baron Douphol...........Amadeo Grazzi
Marquis D'Obigny........Baldassare Corsini
Dr. Grenvil.............Ludovico Contini
Annina..................Imogene Forti
Giuseppe................Giuseppe Barberis
Dance...................Malvina Cavalazzi

Conductor...............Auguste Vianesi


Review in an unnamed Chicago newspaper:

Mme. Sembrich, however, has not yet made this new departure, and still gives the conventional Violetta, but she is too musical and actress to force the consumption feature too strongly into the foreground. Both her dramatic and musical characterization betokens the stamp of great refinement. There is nothing about her cocotte; still she is a cocotte, and gives and idealized picture of the gay, pleasure-loving Magdalena, whose realism borders on perfection. Her singing and acting go nicely hand in hand, and never conflict, whether in scenes of gayety or in moments of despair or pain, of grief, or sorrow. The last act shows her fine dramatic intuition to best advantage. Nothing seems put on, but all seems real - even the outbursts of song do not interfere with the impression that the woman seen on the stage is really within the grasp of death. Few actresses can give the death scene with more realistic force than this singer does, notwithstanding the great difficulties the harmonizing of the musical and histrionic tasks offer to the latter. Not only her singing, but her acting also, affected the audience, which frequently interrupted the performance with outbursts of sympathetic applause. In the first act, where her music is of the most brilliant order, her singing was simply perfection, but afterwards the dramatic quality of her voice came into play and electrified the audience just as much as her faultless execution of ornamentation had done before.

M. Capoul supported Mme. Sembrich notably as Alfredo as far as acting goes, but his singing was often short of the enjoyable. Of the other characters only the Germont of Signor Del Puente deserves favorable mention, although he, as many others, notably the late Mr. Irvington, have done far better in that part. The rest of the cast was below mediocrity. And this is really a pity that the management has not taken pains to give Mme. Sembrich's magnificent Violetta a better setting. Chorus and orchestra were often unruly. Quite a feature was the ballet in which Mlle. Cavalazzi scored a success by her graceful work. The setting was better than usual.



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