[Met Performance] CID:20330
Les Huguenots {72} Metropolitan Opera House: 02/20/1899.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
February 20, 1899
In Italian


LES HUGUENOTS {72}

Marguerite de Valois....Marcella Sembrich
Raoul de Nangis.........Jean de Reszke
Valentine...............Lillian Nordica
Count de Nevers.........Victor Maurel
Urbain..................Eugenia Mantelli
Count de Saint Bris.....Pol Plançon
Marcel..................Edouard de Reszke
Tavannes................Horace Piroia
Cossé...................Roberto Vanni
Retz....................Theodore Meux
Lady of Honor...........Mathilde Bauermeister
Lady of Honor...........Maud Roudez
Bois-Rosé...............Jacques Bars
Maurevert...............Eugène Dufriche
Watchman................Lempriere Pringle

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

Marcella Sembrich repeated "A questa voce sola"

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

A Notable Performance of "Les Huguenots" at the Opera.

There was a record performance of "Les Huguenots" at the Metropolitan Opera House last night. It was a record performance by reason of the remarkable combination of artists who appeared together, and also by reason of the fact that the generous New York public, moved to unwonted excitement by the occasion, poured out the treasures of its wealth in such a manner that the management, to use a phrase sacred to the precincts of sport, almost "came out even." The price of orchestra chairs last night, to those who had not subscribed for them, was $7 each. There did not seem to be any empty ones. The standing room was nearly all filled, and the upper part of the house was packed. It was a very expressive cast, however. For the sake of the record, because many star casts have been brought together for this work, the cast is herewith given in full:

Valentina…..Mme. Nordica
Urbano…..Mme. Mantelli
I. Dame D'Onore.…..Mlle. Bauermeister
II Dame D'Onore…..Miss Maud Roudez
Margherita de Valois…..Mme. Sembrich
Raoul dl Nangis…..M. Jean de Reszke
Marcello…..M. Edouard de Reszke
Conte di San Bris…..M. Plançon
Huguenot soldier .....Jacques Bars
Tavannes ..…M. Pirola
De Retz…..M. Meux
Maurevert….M. Dufriehe
De Crosse…..Signor Vanni
Il Coprifuoco…..M. Lempriere Pringle
Conte Di Nevers…..M. Maurel

It would be difficult to say anything extravagant about the individual merits of some of the members of this cast, but it must be admitted that the ensemble fell short of expectations because some of the singers were not in their best voice. But it would be ungrateful to point out shortcomings in a performance which so graciously fulfilled its mission. The difference which one artist can make in a performance was clearly shown last night by Mme. Sembrich. Heretofore this season the Marguerite has been a singer of only ordinary powers; last night she was one of extraordinary gifts and exceptional accomplishments. Mme. Sembrich "dressed the part," as actors say, superbly, and she acted with authority which has been wholly lacking in previous performances this season. It cannot be said that she was in her most brilliant voice, but nevertheless she sang in dazzling style. Her cadenza at the end of her aria in the second act simply electrified the audience, and she was compelled by long continued applause to repeat the number. Perhaps it is hardly worthwhile to discuss the question whether Mme. Sembrich was worth the extra $2. At the end of the second act those who had paid the price seemed to think she was. Such a procession of operatic celebrities as then crossed and recrossed the stage in front of the curtain is rarely seen at any price.

The other members of last night's cast have all been heard this season in the same rôles, and their work has been made familiar to us in previous years. Mme. Nordica was in good voice and gave a strongly dramatic impersonation of Valentina, while Mme. ManteIli was again a satisfactory Urbane. Jean de Reszke's Raoul has not been equaled in our day for beauty of song, poetic grace, and dramatic warmth, and we doubt if it was ever surpassed. Last night the famous tenor was in fine voice, and he sang with superb abandon. M. Edouard de Reszke never sang Marcello with more volume of tone or more imposing breadth. M. Maurel as de Nevers and M. Plançon as St. Bris repeated performances which are quite familiar. Signor Mancinelli conducted.



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