[Met Performance] CID:24080
Metropolitan Opera Premiere
Die Zauberflöte {1} Metropolitan Opera House: 03/30/1900.
 (Metropolitan Opera Premiere)
(Debuts: Carrie Bridewell, Eugène Castel-Bert
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
March 30, 1900
Metropolitan Opera Premiere
In Italian


DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE {1}
Mozart-Schikaneder

Pamina..................Emma Eames
Tamino..................Andreas Dippel
Queen of the Night......Marcella Sembrich
Sarastro................Pol Plançon
Papageno................Giuseppe Campanari
Papagena................Zélie de Lussan
Monostatos..............Antonio Pini-Corsi
Speaker.................Eugène Dufriche
First Lady..............Milka Ternina
Second Lady.............Eugenia Mantelli
Third Lady..............Carrie Bridewell [Debut]
Genie...................Suzanne Adams
Genie...................Eleanor Broadfoot
Genie...................Rosa Olitzka
Priest..................Adolph Mühlmann
Priest..................Roberto Vanni
Guard...................Theodore Meux
Guard...................Catullo Maestri

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

Director................Pierre Baudu
Costume Designer........Eugène Castel-Bert [Debut]

Translation by unknown

Die Zauberflöte received five performances this season.

[The production, with sets painted by Fred Dangerfield, copied a version staged in Munich the year before.]

Alternate titles: The Magic Flute; Il Flauto Magico; Die Zauberfloete.

Review of Henry Krehbiel in the Tribune

MOZART'S "MAGIC FLUTE"

Neither ribaldry inspired by cynicism nor seriousness rooted in ingenious and lovely devotion the beauty of Mozart's music has yet succeeded in fixing the point of view from which "The Magic Flute" is to be judged in our day and generation. With Mahatmas making sendings to the adepts from places as remote and indefinable as the Xanadu of Kubla Khan, some mystic ought to be able, now that more than a century has passed since Mozart and Schickenader concocted their phantasmagoria, to tell us where the incidents of the play took place and what they are all about. Philosophers given to bottom scraping analysis have maundered about an allegorical contest between the powers of light and darkness, and champions of Freemasonry have hinted at mysteries of their order all but revealed in the final scenes, yet no one knows what librettist and musician aimed at. Perhaps the thought that has been bestowed upon the work has been all too deep. What was seen at the Metropolitan Opera House last night, at least, suggested that if Mr. Grau were to give a children's matinee and pack his house, as easily he ought, with innocents who know nothing of sun myths or Freemasonry, any one of the spectators might give enlightenment to the puzzled commentator. To them "The Magic Flute" would be a Christmas spectacle glorified by music rich in blessing for the tortured modern ear.

"Il Flauto Magico," as it has at length been realized, is the bravest spectacle that our operatic stage has yet seen. The pictures are copied from those which earned so much comment in Munich last year, and their gorgeousness is quite beyond praise, as such stage furniture goes. The menagerie is numerous and varied enough to suggest that Mr. Grau need not close his activities as showman with the advent of spring, but may continue it with promise of profit under a tent during the summer months. His caged lions awakened lively memories among the old heads of Van Amburgh, and when they reared and roared to Papageno's drinking every coroneted duke in the house felt like saying, "Let him roar again, let him roar again!" regardless of the ladies. With four monkeys, four lions, two crocodiles, two snakes, long and sinuous, a giraffe and a camel, the Metropolitan's audience enjoyed a great show. And the scenes, without exception, were as ample and sumptuous as the animal outfit. "Enter two men bearing an illuminated pyramid" - something to this effect is the old stage direction. The new stage management is more than obedient; it equips a chorus of fifty priests with incandescent pyramids, there is a large lighted pyramid bourn by four priests, and the meeting takes place in a stupendous pyramid, whose sides are gorgeously illuminated. So with every other detail. A garden is made the foreground for one of the loveliest moonlit water scenes imaginable, and the trial scene near the close employs a splendidly conceived and executed panorama. Altogether the scenic grandeur of the production is likely to make Mozart's opera the dominant feature for the supplementary season, which begins next Monday. Today's matinee will close the subscription season.

Mozart's music was beautifully sung at the performance, and it came as a benison, barring the vast amount of recitative, which ought to be curtailed for the sake of the movement of the piece, for to those who do not understand Italian and do not wish to follow a libretto, when there are such pretty things to see on the stage, this quasi-melodious talk is only a bore. Mmes. Sembrich and Eames were pictures besides, but of their singing and that of Mmes. Ternina, Mantelli, Bridewell, Adams, Broadfoot, Olitzka, de Lussan, and MM. Plançon, Pini-Corsi, Muhlmann and Dippel, there will be ample time to discourse hereafter, for "The Magic Flute" has come to stay as long as time will allow.



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