[Met Performance] CID:2260
Le Prophète {3} Metropolitan Opera House: 03/21/1884.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
March 21, 1884
In Italian


LE PROPHÈTE {3}

Jean of Leyden..........Roberto Stagno
Berthe..................Alwina Valleria
Fidès...................Sofia Scalchi
Zacharie................Giovanni Mirabella
Jonas...................Nicola Stagi
Mathisen................Ludovico Contini
Count Oberthal..........Luigi Guadagnini
Peasant.................Pietro Mascotti
Officer.................Amadeo Grazzi
Herald..................not performed
Dance...................Malvina Cavalazzi

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

[On two other occasions this season, Mascotti was listed in the program as a Herald, not as a Peasant.]

Review of Henry Krehbiel in The New York Tribune:

In Mme. Scalchi the patrons of opera have learned to recognize a singer who never causes them a serious disappointment. A test like that of last night, it is true, could not fail to disclose whatever schortcomings there were in her voice and method, and it is impossible, in spite of the admiration which all must feel for the uniform excellence of her singing, to remain blind to the fact that the strain which the high music of the score puts upon her is destructive of that corerectness of phrasing which is so essential to good art. But the flaws were few and were more than overbalanced by Mme. Scalchi's exhibition of dramatic power in the climax of the opera-the scene in which, amid the pomp of the coronation, struggling between violently conflicting emotions, she denies her son, the prophet, at his command.


Review in The New York Times:

Its strongest feature was Mme. Scalchi's performance of Fides. The range of the music of the role often made severe demands upon the contralto's high tones, which, by comparison with her lower register, are thin and weak, but whenever the pure contralto notes were to be sung, her voice rolled forth with a perfect wealth of resonance. In the trying cathedral scene, with John, Mme. Scalchi acted with considerable fervor, and the effect wrought at this stage of events, as well as in most of her numbers, and especially in the a duo passages with Berta, was of the happiest kind. ...The chorus was sluggish, and the orchestra efficient but entirely devoid of ambition as to shading and accent. Signor Vianesi ought to send his musicians to a few Philharmonic concerts, where they could learn what briskness, brilliancy, and power may be attained by talent and toil. The scenery was new and beautiful. ...Last night the youthful tenants of one of the first tier boxes rendered themselves so offensive in this respect [talking during the performance] that an unknown gentleman, rising from his seat in the parquet just before Signor Stagno reached the last bars of the second act, loudly requested the delinquents to be quiet, "that we may hear the opera." General applause followed the rebuke, and the nuisance was abated at once.



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