[Met Performance] CID:18330
Metropolitan Opera Premiere
Le Cid {1} Metropolitan Opera House: 02/12/1897.
 (Metropolitan Opera Premiere)
(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
February 12, 1897

Metropolitan Opera Premiere

LE CID {1}
Jules Massenet--Adolphe Énnery/Louis Gallet/Édoard Blau

Don Rodrigue............Jean de Reszke
Chimène.................Félia Litvinne
Infanta.................Clémentine De Vere
Don Diègue..............Edouard de Reszke
Count Gormas............Pol Plançon
King....................Jean Lassalle
St. Jacques.............Jacques Bars
Moorish Envoy...........Jacques Bars
Don Arias...............Igenio Corsi
Don Alonzo..............Antonio De Vaschetti
Dance...................Martha Irmler

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

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

Le Cid received three performances this season.


Review of W. J. Henderson in The New York Times:

The production of "Le Cid" was hugely creditable to the managers of the opera house. There were several new and handsome scenes and the pageantry of the opera was brilliant. The stage pictures were full of color and the reproductions of Moorish architecture were bright and handsome. The ballet was excellently arranged and prettily danced and, for it, the ballet master deserves hearty praise. The orchestra played well and Signor Mancinelli did his duty by the composer with judgment and enthusiasm.

The performance was the strength of the work. It may be said without any reservation that without such a setting and such interpreters as those of last night the opera would be a deadly piece of weariness. Even at best, M. Jean de Reszke was more or less of an appendage to a handsomely costumed ballet and the heartiest applause of the evening was evoked by some of the dancing. The famous tenor had little to do save stand in picturesque attitudes and declaim music upon which his voice bestowed unmerited favor. He had not a single opportunity to sing as he can sing or to act as he can act, and not all his art could save Rodrigue from being a mere operatic figurehead. His brother was more fortunate, for in Don Diegue he found a rôle which afforded him some opportunities for the display of his noble voice and his finished style. The audience, in the early part of the evening at any rate, preferred M. Edouard de Reszke to M. Jean and with reason. M. Plançon was admirable as the Comte de Gornias while he lasted, but he was killed off pretty early in the evening. Lassalle who sang the comparatively unimportant part of the King to oblige the management, dignified it with his fine presence and his knowledge of operatic art. M. Jacques Bars was sufficient unto the evils of the Moorish messenger and the miraculous vision of the blessed St. James of Compostello.

Mme. Litvinne was vigorous and earnest as Chimene, but at best the part is not one which can command the sympathy of an audience and the artist was far from being wholly to blame for her lack of success. Mlle. Clementine de Vere was a very meek and gentle Infanta, but her "Plus des tourments" - partly because of its own pretty melody and partly because of her excellent singing of it - received some of the heartiest applause of the evening. A few more rehearsals would not have injured the performance in which the chorus and supernumeraries betrayed a good deal of unfamiliarity with their stage business. But no serious fault should be found on this account for, in general, the work was excellently put on the stage. The audience was a large one, but it did not find many opportunities for bursts of enthusiasm and most of its applause was in the nature of tribute to the personal popularity of the singers



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