[Met Performance] CID:36660
Il Trovatore {49} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/19/1906.

(Debut: Helene Noldi

Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 19, 1906


IL TROVATORE {49}
Giuseppe Verdi--Salvatore Cammarano

Manrico.................Heinrich Knote
Leonora.................Helene Noldi [Debut]
Count Di Luna...........Giuseppe Campanari
Azucena.................Louise Homer
Ferrando................Marcel Journet
Ines....................Mathilde Bauermeister
Ruiz....................Giovanni Paroli
Gypsy...................Felice Foglia

Conductor...............Nahan Franko

Director................Eugène Dufriche

Il Trovatore received four performances this season.

Review in The Sun:

KNOTE SINGS IN ITALIAN

Makes his First Attempt in Il Trovatore

In the once popular burlesque called "Adonis" the polished villain announced that he had put on another suit of clothes and changed his name, and that therefore no one would recognize him. A quarter of a century ago Heinrich Knote, the distinguished German tenor of Munich, would have done the same things in circumstances such as those of last night. For the first time in his career he sang a role in an Italian opera in the Italian tongue. having put on another suit of linguistic clothes, however, he did not change his name. Twenty-five years ago he would have had to be Signor Notini. That a dire fate might have befallen him should the depraved types have added a final T to this name would not have deterred him; but tempora mutantur.

The occasion of his daring entry into the domain of Tamagno and Campanini was made the opportunity for the restoration to the Metropolitan Opera House stage of Verdi's "Il Trovatore." It seems curious, indeed, that, with Mr. Caruso jealously insisting upon his right to sing the high C in 'Salut demeure' in Gounod's "Faust," he should refuse to take up the role of Manrico, but such is the case, and hence we have the anomaly of a Wagnerian tenor appearing as the much mixed up troubadour. Mr. Caruso, it is said, objects to Manrico on the grounds that the part is all shouting. Quaint idea!

"Il Trovatore" was last sung at the Metropolitan on 3/11/1903, when it was associated with a one act work entitled "Der Wald," and Mr. de Marchi was the representative of Manrico. The opera came near not being given last night, owing to the bogy of opera houses called 'sudden indisposition.' It was with some dismay that those entering the opera house saw on the outer door placards announcing that Mme. Nordica had succumbed to this dread scourge. Mme. Noldi, a member of an Italian opera company recently in Mexico, was summoned from the nasty deeps to take Mme. Nordica's place. This singer has been heard here at some of Victor Herbert's Sunday concerts.

She was exceedingly nervous and therefore did not sing as well as she probably could. It was plain, however, that she is not an artist of the rank to which Metropolitan audiences are accustomed. Mr. Knote's Manrico was a most excellent incursion into new territory. It was manly and vigorous in appearance, action and vocal style.

There was little of the objectionable Italian mannerisms except the inevitable Rubini sob in cadences. There was full and resonant tone, which was almost always true to the pitch. He sang 'Deserto sulla terra' splendidly. There was a pleasing lyric quality in the 'Ah, si ben mio,' and 'Di quella pira,' transposed half a tone down, was boldly given. Mr. Knote will probably try some other Italian roles and thus widen his repertory. His success last night was pronounced.

Mme. Homer's Azucena is not unknown to this public, and it was cordially welcomed last night. She sang the music with a good deal of dramatic intelligence and acted excellently. Mr. Campanari who was the Conte di Luna, was not in good voice. he can sing the role better. Mr. Franko conducted and showed knowledge of the traditions, but he was not always at one with the artists in the matter of nuances. Mr. Conried provided several new and well painted scenes for the revival.


Review in the New York Evening Post:

Il Trovatore Revived

For several years Mr. Conried has been trying to persuade Mr. Caruso to sing Manrico in Verdi's tuneful "Il Trovatore," which, for over two decades, was the most popular of all operas, and may become so again. But Italy's greatest tenor declined to risk it. Finally, Mr. Knote consented to learn that role. Mme. Nordica gladly promised to sing Leonora, which has for years been one of her best roles. The cast was completed by adding Mmes. Homer and Bauermeister, Mm. Campanari and Journet, and the date was fixed. It soon became evident that there would be an enormous audience: "Il Trovatore" has not lost its hold on popular affection. Not only was every seat taken, but the enthusiasts stood three deep behind the rails.

A great disappointment was caused by the indisposition of Mme. Nordica. her place was taken by an American known as Mme. Noldi, who showed at once that she has had operatic experience. She sang her first aria well and got encouraging applause. The promise thus given was not kept throughout the opera' although her voice is of good quality, it is uncertain as to intonation, and in producing her highest tones she resorts to a method, and gets results oddly resembling a tenor's falsetto. Mme. Homer put much passion and pathos into the role of Azucena, and Mr. Campanari made the most of the part of the count.

The sensation of the evening, however, was the Manrico of Mr. Knote. It did not follow necessarily that because the first-class Wagnerian soprano, Mme. Nordica, is also a first-class Leonora, therefore the first-class Wagnerian tenor, Mr. Knote, would also be a first-class Manrico. But he was. Never did Campanini himself sing the lovely melody behind the scenes ("Deserto") with a more mellifluous, luscious voice, or more ardent expression than Mr. Knote sang it; and throughout the opera he seemed more like an Italian than like a German. Stormy applause was his reward. Mr. Knote is young. Will he become a second Jean de Reszke? Is he a greater tenor than Caruso? Let Caruso sing Manrico, and Siegfried, and Tristan, and then we shall have an answer to that question, which contains much food for thought.



Added Index Entries for Subjects and Names


Back to short citation(s).