[Met Performance] CID:32070
Tosca {18} Metropolitan Opera House: 12/2/1903.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 2, 1903


TOSCA {18}
Puccini-Illica/Giacosa

Tosca...................Milka Ternina
Cavaradossi.............Enrico Caruso
Scarpia.................Antonio Scotti
Sacristan...............Arcangelo Rossi
Spoletta................Jacques Bars
Angelotti...............Eugène Dufriche
Sciarrone...............Bernard Bégué
Shepherd................Helen Mapleson
Jailer..................Giuseppe Cernusco

Conductor...............Arturo Vigna

Director................Karl Schroeder

Tosca received seven performances this season.

Enrico Caruso repeated "E lucevan le stelle"
Unsigned review in The New York Times

"TOSCA" AT THE OPERA

Reappearance of Mme. Ternina in the Heroine's Part

Mr. Caruso as Cavaradossi and Mr. Scotti as Scarpia - The Work of the Orchestra

Puccini's opera of "Tosca" was given last evening at the Metropolitan and was the occasion of much interest on the part of a large audience in effecting the reentrance of Mme. Ternina as the heroine and the appearance of Mr. Caruso in a role new to him here, that of Mario Cavaradossl.

"Tosca" is now given for the fourth season at the Opera House and Mme Ternina resumes the part in which she first appeared in this opera in 1901; it is scarcely too much to say that her impersonation is one of the most finished, one of the most poignantly tragic, one of the most resourceful in its portrayal of tense emotion that is to be seen today on the lyric stage. Her representation of the heroine ravaged by passion, by anguish and by the torture of a deadly hatred, thrills by its intense conviction and is carried through with an increasing and irresistible sweep of power. Her scene with Scarpia in the second act is sufficient to stamp her as a tragic actress of the greatest power.

Mina. Ternina, without the attributes of striking personal beauty, presents a figure of singular and irresistible fascination in this part, which is one peculiarly adapted to her in many ways. Her voice last evening was not in all respects of the beauty of quality that her admirers remember, and they were eager to believe that it was suffering from a temporary blemish upon its purity. But it had the accent of dramatic power and was entirely at her command in taking on the color of emotional expressiveness.

Mr. Caruso appeared to be entirely recovered from his recent indisposition and poured out his voice with unstinted volume making, indeed, the deepest impression, so far as his singing was concerned, that he has made since his first appearance here. His conception of the character differs materially from that of Mr. De Marchi, who has been the previous representative of Cavaradossi here in "Tosca"

He displays him in the first act in a more bourgeois air, with little distinction of bearing and with small intensity of feeling; it is not till the scene of his impending doom in the last that he sounds a note of elemental power in his outpouring of despair and of longing for the love from whom he is to be separated by death. This he did with magnificent eloquence and a nobility of song that deeply stirred the audience-one of the few passages in a performance of the opera remarkable at many points that did stir it and be yielded to the temptation to repeat the air.

The Scarpia was as in previous years, Mr. Scotti; an impersonation that represents in the fullest measure aristocratic elegance, cynical selfishness and flaming passion, an impersonation which he has wrought into a perfectly consistent and convincing whole, a creation of admirable art, of finely modulated detail. He sang last evening in better voice than he has before this season. The Sacristan, as Mr. Rossi presents him, is a somewhat too grotesque person.

The orchestral part, under Mr. Vigna's direction, surged with life, accentuating and reinforcing the progress of the drama so far as it lies in the music to do so.

In "Tosca." Puccini has written music that fails in the essential power of characterization at some of the crucial points, as in the moments of strain and clashing passions of the second act, where he has been fain to make vehemence of utterance take the place of innate vitality of fibre.


Photograph of Enrico Caruso as Cavaradossi in Tosca by Aimé Dupont.



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