[Met Performance] CID:36870
Aida {103} Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 02/6/1906.

(Review)


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
February 6, 1906


AIDA {103}
Giuseppe Verdi--Antonio Ghislanzoni

Aida....................Emma Eames
Radamès.................Enrico Caruso
Amneris.................Edyth Walker
Amonasro................Giuseppe Campanari
Ramfis..................Pol Plançon
King....................Adolph Mühlmann
Messenger...............Giovanni Paroli
Priestess...............Lucille Lawrence
Dance...................Bianca Froehlich

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

Review of William R. Lester in an unidentified Philadelphia newspaper

VERDI'S "AIDA" SUNG BY MATCHLESS CAST

Madame Eames Reaches Supreme Artistic Height at Academy of Music

CARUSO UNRIVALED

"Aida" trod the boards at the Academy of Music last evening - the eleventh of the regular opera season - in the charming personality of Mme. Emma Eames - a well nigh ideal representation of Rhadames' luckless yet dauntless inamorata.

This impersonation of Aida is Mme. Eames' achievement in. the operatic field. The lyrical requirements of the score are as perfectly adapted to her voice and vocal method as though the part had been written expressly for her. It would be in vain to seek for a more artistic rendering of the arias. duets and concerted music allotted by the composer of "Aida" to Amonasro's ill-starred daughter. Equally within the artist's control are the simple, elemental passions that sway this picturesque and poetic character - fervent affection, suppressed jealousy, the bitterness of renunciation and the stern resolution of despair. These are uncomplicated by other motives, save in the Nile Bank scene of act third when duty, aroused patriotism, and the ardor of a new-born love are brought into heart breaking conflict.

A Triumph for Mme. Eames.

The subtle artistic finesse and lofty dramatic fervency of this great scene - the crown and climax of the grandest of Italian operas - were disclosed by Mme. Eames with extraordinarily temperamental energy and histrionic perfection. All that followed, even the wild passionate remorse and despair of Amneris and the throbbing, pulsating pathos of the splendidly scored finale, seemed as a descent from ineffable heights of glowing miracle as Mme. Emma Eames was the central and commanding figure, regal and supreme, throughout the entire performance - no slight lyric and histrionic achievement, in the presence of perhaps the greatest cast of principal singers and actors ever assembled in a public representation of Verdi 's operatic masterpiece.

The Amonasro of Campanari - an intensely dramatic role hitherto committed by Mr. Conried to Scotti - was vocally flawless and invested with no slight degree of histrionic authority. His savage invocation of a mother's curse upon the hapless Aida was delivered with tremendous power - a startling flash of dramatic inspiration that fairly electrified the great audience.

Principals in Fine Voice.

Miss Walker as Amneris, Plançon as the High Priest, and Muhlmann as the King were in excellent voice and rare dramatic form. Amneris' desperate and pathetic plea to Rhadames to save himself has never been more forcefully presented here, not even by Miss Walker -easily the greatest Amneris since Cary's time. As for Caruso, the favorite tenor fairly reveled in the sensuous, sentimental flow of melody. His voice is hardening somewhat in the upper register and he is over-inclined to the "stroke of the glottis," but his Rhadames is, nevertheless, a matchless lyrical tour-de-force with sympathetic acting to supplement it.

Mr. Conried's corps de ballet automata were decorously in evidence., with Mlle. Froelich's nimble feet to invest the scenes with true terpsichorean spirit; the ragged and faded Academy scenery was again flaunted, even as Lazarus displayed his sores, and Vinga conducted a somewhat meager orchestra force with much musical distinction throughout.



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