[Met Performance] CID:2420
Robert le Diable {7} Academy of Music, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 04/15/1884.


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Academy of Music
April 15, 1884
In Italian


Robert..................Roberto Stagno
Isabelle................Ida Corani
Bertram.................Giovanni Mirabella
Alice...................Emmy Fursch-Madi
Raimbaut................Nicola Stagi
Herald..................Vincenzo Fornaris [Last performance]
Abbess..................Malvina Cavalazzi
Lady....................not performed
Cavalier................not performed
Dance...................Malvina Cavalazzi

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

Review in the Philadelphia Press:


An Indifferent Performance of Meyerbeer's "Roberto il Diavalo"

If Meyerbeer had written two versions of "Roberto il Diavalo," one greatly shortened for the off-nights, with incompetent performers, and the other with all its length and variety for those who could, by their power and ability, make the music effective, he would have been wise; the shortened and simplified version would have been in place last night. The five acts dragged themselves along, with here and there a lightening and brightening, but the general effect was dull. The audience, at its best, was not large enough to hide long reaches of empty seats, and there was an ominous lack of enthusiasm. Such a spectacle reacts on singers, and exerts the most depressing influence. The apathy was too deep to be broken by the occasional flashes of really meritorious singing and acting, and the audience ebbed away from act to act until at the last there were almost as many people on the stage as in the parquet.

Madame Fursch-Madi easily bore away the honors of the evening. She was evidently suffering from some cold, but the hoarseness soon wore off, and her voice was displayed in all its dramatic force and excellent quality. She was especially effective in the two great trios and the scene with Beltramo. Mlle. Corani made an attractive-looking Princess, though a certain appearance of self-consciousness distracted somewhat from its dignity. Her voice just lacks the higher quality which touches and creates sympathy. It has some brilliancy, but she sang as though she were not thoroughly acquainted with the music or was overwhelmed with nervousness. Her singing of the great aria "Roberto che adoro" was marked by good feeling and was very creditable, but it scarcely stirred a hand in the audience. Signor Stagno came the nearest of anyone to receiving a genuine encore. A high chest note, sustained for a long hold, brought him a quick round of applause, but no repetition was granted. Signor Stagno has such a really excellent voice, there are such surprisingly beautiful tones in it, but no one can help regretting the grievous faults by which his singing is marred. Signor Mirablella exhausted his buffoonery in the part of Marcel on Monday and he made a very tame and uneventful incarnate fiend last night. Still it is only fair to say that there was a slight improvement. The part of Beltramo is a grand one for a basso profundo, but Signor Mirabella performed it, at his best, only indifferently, and for the most part his singing was an unmusical roar. His voice is what the poet calls "vox et preterea nihil." It is characterized by a constant insincere tremble and entirely lacks soul. Signor Stagi, who has a fair tenor voice, sang out of tune and added little to the effect of the opera. The ballet in the third act was an improvement over that in "Les Huguenots," Madame Cavalazzi was as graceful as a sylph, and in the character of the temptress was as seductive as could be well imagined. The music of the ballet was exquisite. The orchestra was kept pretty well in hand, but the brass was often badly out, and was, moreover, too powerful.

It was rumored in the lobby with some show of reason that, instead of Gounod's opera, "Romeo e Giulietta," as announced for tonight, there would be a change of bill, either "Il Trovatore" or "Carmen" being substituted. Probably the latter opera will be sung.

Added Index Entries for Subjects and Names

Back to short citation(s).