[Met Performance] CID:25000
Metropolitan Opera Premiere
La Bohème {1}
Lucia di Lammermoor: Mad Scene
. Los Angeles, California: 11/9/1900.
 (Metropolitan Opera Premiere)
(Debut: Fritzi Scheff, Charles Gilibert, Marcel Journet, Aristide Masiero
Reviews)


Los Angeles, California
Hazard's Pavilion
November 9, 1900
Metropolitan Opera Premiere


LA BOHÈME {1}
Puccini-Illica/Giacosa

Mimì....................Nellie Melba
Rodolfo.................Giuseppe Cremonini
Musetta.................Fritzi Scheff [Debut]
Marcello................Giuseppe Campanari
Schaunard...............Charles Gilibert [Debut]
Colline.................Marcel Journet [Debut]
Benoit..................Eugène Dufriche
Alcindoro...............Eugène Dufriche
Parpignol...............Aristide Masiero [Debut]

Conductor...............Luigi Mancinelli
Director................William Parry


LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR: Mad Scene
Nellie Melba
Luigi Mancinelli, Conductor

La Bohème received fifteen performances this season, eight of them concluding with Nellie Melba's performance of the Mad Scene from Lucia di Lammermoor.


Photographs of Giuseppe Campanari as Marcello, Marcel Journet as Colline, and Fritzi Scheff as Musetta by Aimé Dupont..

Review of Blanche Partington in the San Francisco Call

MARVELOUS IS MELBA AS MIMI

Puccini's 'La Bohème' Beautifully Rendered

AUDIENCE IN RAPTURES

Pathetic Scenes and Tragic Periods Are Vividly Portrayed

Another good night with the Grau people, Puccini's "La Bohème" the programme and Melba the divine as Mimi. Once only has the opera been given before here - in '97 by a poverty-stricken, clever little Italian company. who were only all too familiar with the ups and downs - mostly downs - of the artist life, which the opera so faithfully presents. The opera was, of course, pirated - the company had been playing in Mexico, where everything goes - and we had the good fortune to get a share of the loot. For they were an artist crowd, happy-go-lucky, lavishly musical, born actors and pathetically well fitted by circumstances for the opera's interpretation.

The orchestra was amazingly good, the principals really excellent, but the chorus! Ohime(?) the chorus! how well I remember it! Gathered in from the hedges and the highways of the Latin Quarter, from the big-eyed bambinos - whose mothers must bring them to the theater for there was no one else to care for the little ones - to the aged grandam whose sweet, old Italian voice still had a worth-while note in it. The scenic accessories were on a par with the appearance of the chorus, but there was heart, and life, and genius in the performance just the same, as one gladly felt them in the air last night under how different circumstances!

"La Boheme" is a brilliant, vivid, scintillating sort of thing, modern as Wagner, but at opposite poles - realistic as he is realistic, and swiftly picturesque as Wagner is reposefully romantic. Puccini never by any chance prolongs the musical expression beyond the limits of the dramatic moment. Rather does the movement occasionally suggest unfinished musical thought, its legitimate expression denied climax in compliance with the dramatic exigencies, while oppositely Wagner will often prolong the dramatic situation beyond all reasonable limit to allow to his musical idea its full fruit of development. "La Boheme" has the same saving lack of set solo, trio, quartet and the rest of it, as has the Wagnerian music, and represents the last word so far of the modern Italian school.

The opera received a delightful interpretation last night. It had just the right tone-coloring, accent, feeling. Melba is a charming Mimi. She sings and acts the part with a pathetic grace that touches the heart and brings tears to the eyes. "Mimi! Mimi shouted the audience at the third scene's close, where she bids farewell to her poet lover, and "Mimi!" again. It is an unusual part for Melba, in this regard. No sort of opportunity does the role offer for the lovely vocal gymnastics of which she is so perfect a mistress; it is pure, straight. dramatic singing and the artist here achieves another triumph.


Account in the Los Angeles Herald

WITHOUT HONEY AND WITHOUT PRICE

Appreciative Audience Outside Hazard's Pavilion Listens to the Grau Company

Red Shirt Waists of Gorgeous Hue Cover Hearts in Which Music Receives a Responsive Beat

The audience inside Hazard's pavilion Friday and last night and the audience outside were vastly different Inside were handsome gowns and costly jewels and brilliant lights; outside were red and gaudy pink and lavender shirt-waists - and darkness.

If it is true that stolen music as well as stolen fruits are always sweetest, then the men and women who crowded around the pavilion and listened to "La Bohème" certainly had the best of it. The alleyway from the street to the rear of the building is about six feet wide, and was crowded with a mass of men and women who are stirred by concord of sweet sounds, but whose purses do not met the demands of their souls in that direction.

In spite of red shirt-waists, the crowd was respectable and for the most part well dressed. Then they had one consolation that those inside did not have - there was no ill feeling and no jealousy because Miss Next Door wore a handsomer gown than the one beside her. The men and women inside were appreciative, but the audience that heard the music was more so. During the singing there was not a stir, everybody stood breathless, spellbound. Of course the scenery and the stage setting had to be imagined and the listener could only guess by the applause who were the star performers. Hereafter they will be able to refer proudly to "the time when I heard Melba and Nordica." They will very probably not say "saw," but can truthfully declare that they have listened to the greatest singers.

Going on the theory that half a loaf is better than none, they certainly had a small half, but were apparently satisfied, and as they went away there was no grumbling because the curtain rose promptly at 8, because the seats on the lower floor were not raised or because the hall was hot. All were happy and good-natured.



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