[Met Performance] CID:3020
Les Huguenots {4} Metropolitan Opera House: 11/21/1884.

(Debuts: Marie Schröder-Hanfstängl, Anton Udvardy, Anna Robinson, Isadora Martinez, Martin Paché, Carl Baumann, Emil Totzech, Hermann Weber, Carrie Morse, Lucia Cormani, Isolina Torri, Adèle Zollia, F. Baptiste Ceruti
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
November 21, 1884
In German


LES HUGUENOTS {4}
Meyerbeer-Scribe/Deschamps

Marguerite de Valois....Marie Schröder-Hanfstängl [Debut]
Raoul de Nangis.........Anton Udvardy [Debut]
Valentine...............Anna Robinson [Debut]
Count de Nevers.........Adolf Robinson
Urbain..................Isadora Martinez [Debut]
Count de Saint Bris.....Josef Staudigl
Marcel..................Joseph Kögel
Tavannes................Otto Kemlitz
Cossé...................Martin Paché [Debut]
Thoré...................Carl Baumann [Debut]
Retz....................Emil Totzech [Debut]
Méru....................Hermann Weber [Debut]
Lady of Honor...........Carrie Morse [Debut]
Bois-Rosé...............Emil Tiferro
Maurevert...............Joseph Miller
Dance...................Lucia Cormani [Debut]
Dance...................Isolina Torri [Debut]
Dance...................Adèle Zollia [Debut]

Conductor...............Leopold Damrosch

Costume Designer........D. Ascoli
Costume Designer........Henry Dazian
Director................Wilhelm Hock
Choreographer...........F. Baptiste Ceruti [Debut]

Translation by unknown

Les Huguenots received five performances this season.

Isadora Martinez sang Urbain's first aria in Italian.

[The dancer listed for this season as Zollia has been combined with others listed as Zollio, Zallio and Fallio.]

Unsigned review in The New York Times

METROPOLITAN OPERA HOUSE.

A representation of Meyerbeer's "Huguenots" is always an interesting event, and the announcement of a performance of that noble work at the Metropolitan Opera House, last evening, awakened the wonted pleasant anticipations. To admit that a company is equal to supplying a thoroughly satisfactory rendering of "The Huguenots" is, in truth, to proclaim its excellence. With the exception of "Don Giovanni," no lyric drama calls forth the exertions of an equal number of artists of the highest order, in none are heavier responsibilities laid upon the chorus and orchestra, and upon none can rich and picturesque stage attire be more judiciously lavished. The uncommon beauty and eloquence of the music, and the captivating and forceful story with which the score goes hand in hand, make its presentation worthy of any outlay of pains or money. "The Huguenots," too, is an opera that repays, through the direct appreciation of the public, all trouble and expense entailed by its performance. The drama it upholds appeals to every spectator by its intensely human passion and power more even than by its historical interest; its characters are full of life and contrast, and Meyerbeer's music, rich, brilliant, and invariably suited to the situation of which it increases the strength tenfold, while it charms the listener by its melody, its sensuous harmonies, and its glowing color, reveals fresh and wondrous details at each new hearing. The piquancy and sparkling fluency of Rossini's measures often pall upon the audiences of the period, and Bellini and even Donizetti have long since been proclaimed cloying as to themes and thin as to instrumentation. But to this day Meyerbeer's chief works in general and his "Huguenots" in particular have held their own against the rising tide or modern theories and "progressive" music. Wagner's denunciation of old forms has not engendered any contempt for the pretty tunes allotted to the page or for the fine duets between Raoul and Valentina, and Valentina and Marcel, and nothing that recent composers have brought forth stirs the pulses of an audience like the "benediction of the swords." In .England and in France, as well as in America, "The Huguenots" is the one opera that a manager who is fairly equipped as to company and mise en scène can depend upon to fill his coffers. Last night, at the Metropolitan, an audience that crowded the vast theatre to suffocation, proved once more its potency as an attraction - the surest test, years of application having shown it to be unfailing in its results - of its might over the public of Europe and the New World. The representation given under Dr. Damrosch's direction was notable rather for the individual excellence it revealed than for its impressiveness as a whole. The conductor evinced a frequent disposition to drag the time, and, with more ambition than prudence, forgetting the unusual proportions of the opera, he restored parts of the score which by common consent have long since been eliminated. As a consequence, the duet between Raoul and Valentina did not end until within a few minutes of midnight, and the fifth act was still to come. It was apparent, too, that the attempt to bring forth three grand operas in a week had made it impossible to have as thorough rehearsals of the chorus as were needed, and the "ratapian" and the scene of the benediction of the swords were not altogether satisfactory. These shortcomings, however, are not likely to again invite censure, and to have accomplished so much with the material only lately at hand as Dr. Damrosch has accomplished is to do wonders. The orchestra was, of course, in excellent shape, and, as mentioned already, there was no small display of voice and talent on the part of many of the singers. The late hour at which the performance was finished prevents anything like a careful review of its incidents, but a hasty record must be prepared of the achievements of the principal artists engaged in the representation of Meyerbeer's work. Frau Schroeder-Haufstaengel's success was immediate and decisive. It was originally intended that this prima donna should appear as Valentine, but the illness of the songstress who was to have personated the Queen induced her to come forth as Marguerite, whose role she regarded as equally advantageous as a medium for her American debut. Frau Schroeder Hanfstaengel's high soprano voice is full, even, firm and vibrant, her intonation is faultless, and her execution of florid music, absolutely perfect. She has not the personal magnetism of better-known bravura songstresses, but her vocalization is as facile, brilliant and correct as the most exacting critic can desire. Her duet with Raoul in the second act was the "hit" of the evening, and the applause which followed it was merged into cheers before it subsided. Frau Robinson, who was Valentine, managed a fresh and powerful soprano voice with commendable intelligence and skill, but her delivery was a little monotonous, except in the duet in the fourth act, when she sang with no little warmth and vigor. Herr Udvardy's Raoul was a creditable effort. The new tenor has a light tenor voice and uses it with judgment. His romance in the first act and his share of the final duet elicited hearty plaudits; he was scarcely equal to the ringing music of the "settimino." Herr Staudigl's Saint Bris was a dignified portrayal of that prominent character, and his declamation and cantabile were artistic and effective. Herr Robinson renewed the pleasant impression wrought by his previous efforts, and his De Nevers was picturesque to the eye and satisfactory to the ear. Herr Koegel's Marcel was a respectable personation, and Miss Isadora Martinez, who assumed the rôle of Urbano in consequence of the sudden indisposition of Fraulein Slach, rendered the Page's first air, with Italian words, quite neatly. The scenery and dresses were bright and appropriate, and a second representation of "The Huguenots," with all the valuable elements just referred to, and freed from the few blemishes of last night's performance, is sure to prove worthy of unreserved praise.



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