[Met Performance] CID:32130
Cavalleria Rusticana {77}
Pagliacci {37}
Metropolitan Opera House: 12/9/1903.

(Debut: Mario Guardabassi
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 9, 1903


CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA {77}
Mascagni-Targioni-Tozzetti/Menasci

Santuzza................Johanna Gadski
Turiddu.................Andreas Dippel
Lola....................Louise Homer
Alfio...................Giuseppe Campanari
Mamma Lucia.............Mathilde Bauermeister

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

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

Cavalleria Rusticana received twelve performances this season.


PAGLIACCI {37}
Leoncavallo-Leoncavallo

Nedda...................Marcella Sembrich
Canio...................Enrico Caruso
Tonio...................Antonio Scotti
Silvio..................Mario Guardabassi [Debut]
Beppe...................Albert Reiss

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

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

Enrico Caruso repeated "Vesti la giubba"

Pagliacci received six performances this season.

Unsigned review in The New York Times

DOUBLE BILL AT THE OPERA

"Cavalleria Rusticana" and "Pagliacci" Given - Mr. Guardabassi's First Appearance

The first presentation of the "double bill" of "Cavalleria Rusticana" and "Pagliacci" at the Opera House last evening brought out one of the largest audiences that has been seen there this season-an audience in which the Italian element was largely represented and that submitted itself eagerly to the sway of these two hot-blooded operas with a tumult of applause and bravos. The cooler portion of the audience found in the performance an excellent reproduction of their spirit, although in "Cavalleria Rusticana" the chief parts were taken by singers who are without the heritage of Italian temperament. Mme. Gadski was the Santuzza, a part in which she has previously disclosed the versatility of her art and her power of identifying herself with a character far removed from the range of emotion and expression with which her name is chiefly connected.

It would be too much to say that she is absolutely convincing in her impersonation of the passionate Sicilian girl; but she is entirely plausible in it and fills it with a wealth of detail and with the very accent of suffering and desperation, both in action and in song. Mr. Dippel was the Turiddu and he, too, without touching depths of elemental passion, reproduced the spirit and sang the music forcefully. Mme. Louise Homer's Lola is most pleasing to the eye and to the ear and Mr. Campanari makes a vigorous and picturesque showing as Alfio. Miss Bauermeister's Lucia is a very familiar figure, but by no means impressive or skillfully wrought.

The second half of the evening was by far the more notable as bringing before this public Mme. Sembrich and Mr. Caruso in new parts for the first time and as effecting the debut of a new baritone, Mr. Guardabassi. Mme. Sembrich as Nedda is charming in appearance in the last act of fascinating brilliancy and fills the part with vivacity and tense emotional strain in the drastic contrast calculated by the composer. Of course, her singing of the music is an unceasing delight. The bird song in the first act she sang charmingly, but scarcely with the brilliancy that might have been expected. As Canio, Mr. Caruso added another to the picturesque and strongly moving impersonations that he has already presented at the Metropolitan. He was in admirable voice last night and put a magnificent vehemence of passion into his acting and singing. The last air in the first act, superbly sung, he had to repeat.

Mr. Guardabassi's first appearance, which was in the character of Silvio, was made under circumstances that were evidently embarrassing to him, for he betrayed what can scarcely be described as anything but absolute fright. It had its unmistakable effects upon his appearance and action, which were extremely constrained, and upon his singing. His voice seemed as if it might be an agreeable and a serviceable one under more favorable conditions. Mr. Scotti's Tonio is remembered with admiration and displays all the excellent powers of characterization that have commended it in years gone by. His singing of the prologue is a fine piece of significant declamation.

Both performances were filled with energy and pulsing life under the direction of Mr. Vigna, who brought out innumerable details in the score. In the "Cavalleria" he follows the rather slow tempi that Mascagni disclosed last year as his own idea of what should be.


Photograph of Enrico Caruso as Canio by Aimé Dupont.



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