[Met Performance] CID:19520
Il Barbiere di Siviglia {16} Metropolitan Opera House: 12/7/1898.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 7, 1898


IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA {16}

Figaro..................Giuseppe Campanari
Rosina..................Marcella Sembrich
Count Almaviva..........Thomas Salignac
Dr. Bartolo.............Agostino Carbone
Don Basilio.............Edouard de Reszke
Berta...................Mathilde Bauermeister
Fiorello................Theodore Meux
Sergeant................Roberto Vanni

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

Unsigned review in the Sun

A Most Enjoyable and Excellent Performance of "The Barber of Seville"

Rossini's "Barbiere di Seviglia" makes a strong contrast to the heroic grandeur and pageantry of "Tannhäuser" which if followed so closely. Yet there is much to enjoy in the merry, melodious work, and there were many people gathered in the Metropolitan last evening to enjoy it. The performance was in competent hands as a glance at the cast will show.

Without exaggeration it may be said that the opera was perfectly performed. Not a point that ought to have been made was omitted, and indeed there would been something like a superfluity byplay were it not that the plot of "The Barber" is such that it can absorb the liveliest, even the most violent action and only gain in its farcical humor. Signor Mancinelli is a most sympathetic and able conductor. Under his guidance not a mark of aspersion was passed by without its due weight, while at the same time the actors who were all perfect in their roles, had ample opportunity to carry on their laughable antics without being harassed by an unreasonable wielder of the baton.

Mme. Sembrich made her first appearance this season in what is probably her best and favorite impersonation. At her entrance she was received with very great enthusiasm, receiving longer and more violent applause as a welcome than and of the singers on Tuesday evening could boast. Extreme cultivation and pure refined art is quickly recognized and deeply appreciated. It is gratifying to note that that 'coloratur" singers are always more captivating to the great public than those of any other school. Sembrich reigned as the brilliant star of the evening, her splendid florid execution in the lesson winning a real ovation. She chose for her songs of display the waltz, "Primavera" by Strauss;Chopin's "Mère la Birding," which she sang in Polish, accompanying herself at the piano in a most musicianly way, and "Ah non guinge" from "Sonnambula."

Campanari made a Barber go realistic that it would have been hard for the time to imagine him able to assume any other character. Carbone has long been associated with the role of Don Bartolo, and he is truly Don Bartolo and no one else. Nothing is wanting to his interpretation, nor could it in any manner be improved. Edouard de Reszke took the part of Don Basilio, putting more fun and frolic into his action than was ever given to it by any other artist. Some of the situations he made together with Carbone get the audience into loud peals of laughter. It would be difficult, too, to replace Salignac in the role of Count Almaviva. He is graceful and buoyant, filling every necessity of the part, and making it interesting.

The performance may be set down as a most successfully fine one.



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