[Met Performance] CID:34560
Lucia di Lammermoor {53} Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 01/10/1905.

(Review)


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
January 10, 1905


LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR {53}

Lucia...................Marcella Sembrich
Edgardo.................Enrico Caruso
Enrico..................Taurino Parvis
Raimondo................Marcel Journet
Normanno................Mr. Giordani
Alisa...................Mathilde Bauermeister

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

Arturo..................Jacques Bars

Review (unsigned) in a Philadelphia newspaper (unidentified)

'LUCIA' WELL SUNG AT THE ACADEMY

Caruso and Sembrich Heard to Fine Effect in revival of Donizetti's Tuneful Tragedy of 'Lammermoor."

The revival of "Lucia" at the Academy of Music last evening brought out the largest audience of the season. Hundreds ware turned away from the galleries and the house was completely sold out, every nook and cranny being filled by those who wanted either to refresh earlier memories or else to make acquaintance with a work of the old style in which so many famous singers, men and women, have made or marred a reputation.

With Caruso as "Edgardo" and Sembrich as '"Lucia'" it was inevitable that the performance should prove a delightful exhibition of true bel canto, lovely phrasing, all-around tunefulness, vocal agility and that genuine power of expression that gives color and meaning even to numbers that seem to be written in defiance of any connection between sense and sentiment and the music. The evening resolved itself, therefore, largely into a dual triumph for these two great singers, who each received a personal tribute in the way applause swept over the crowded house at times almost hysterically. After all, in these days of D'Indy symphonies and whatnot, it is plain we all hanker after a little refection, a dessert, as it were, now and then in the shape of sheer melody. And this is what "Donizetti gives one in "Lucia" in full measure running over.

A Great Performance.

Aside from the delight taken in Madame Sembrich's art, never so beautifully demonstrated, and Caruso's golden voice, which after it had echoed tragically among the tombs of his ancestors in the final aria, left nothing but haunting memories of vocal opulence. The performance as whole was quite in the spirit of the old style, if it did not efface certain great performances in the past. As well blended and as evenly as the superb sextet was sung, it did not have the quickening surge, the frantic burst in forte that, even with poorer voices, carries all before it. Beautifully done it was and worthy of the repeat in response to the delighted demand, but there are other memories of it that will not down.

Detailed mention of the cast is not necessary save to point out that Journet was an excellent "Raimondo," while Parvis was rather out of class as "Enrico." Vigna conducted with vigor and enthusiasm, but took his own way with certain tempi not always with satisfactory results. No one bothered very much about the stage setting behind the scene, apparently and certainly no one cared whether the scene was a wood instead of a parterre with a fountain, all that was asked for was that the singer should sing and, as the chorus in brave costumes warbled cheerily even of accumulating horrors, all went on merrily true Donizettian style. It was a great night.



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