[Met Performance] CID:36900
Martha {23} Metropolitan Opera House: 02/9/1906.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
February 9, 1906
In Italian


MARTHA {23}
Flotow-Friedrich

Lady Harriet............Marcella Sembrich
Lionel..................Enrico Caruso
Nancy...................Edyth Walker
Plunkett................Pol Plançon
Sir Tristram............Arcangelo Rossi
Sheriff.................Eugène Dufriche
Maid....................Jessie Minges
Maid....................Lucille Lawrence
Maid....................Inga Örner
Servant.................Felice Foglia
Dance...................Bianca Froehlich
Dance...................Miss Haban
Dance...................Pauline Verhoeven

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

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

Martha received eight performances in Italian this season.

Marcella Sembrich repeated "The Last Rose of Summer" in English
Enrico Caruso repeated "M'appari"

Unsigned review in The New York Times

"MARTA" AT THE OPERA

An Old Favorite Heard After Many Years by a Large Audience.

It was natural and indeed inevitable, as the repertory has been taking shape recently at the Metropolitan Opera House, that "Marta" should be restored to it. The wonder was indeed that it had not been reached before. Last night it was produced for the first time in Italian since 1899, though the last time it was heard in the house was in the English season in the Autumn of 1900. But before that it had not been regularly in the repertory for a number of years and only sporadic repetitions of it were given, as one in 1897 made sadly memorable by the death of Castelmary on the stage in the second act, and one in 1896. Earlier, of course, it was one of the most popular of all the lighter operas and a favorite not only of all the prima donne, but of the public. It is quite likely to regain this place in the operagoing public's esteem now, for its charm is still potent, its grace and vivacity not staled. Its melodies still keep their savor and the performance last evening exhibited them all in the most ingratiating light. There was a very large audience present that gave evidence of much pleasure through the evening.

The excellences of this representation were wholly due to the principal singers who were concerned in it. These were Mme. Sembrich, Miss Edyth Walker, Mr. Caruso, Mr. Plançon and Mr. Rossi and they all entered delightfully into the spirit of the work. Mme. Sembrich and Miss Walker were both charming as Lady Enrichetta and Nancy, and Mme. Semhrich's singing was as brilliant as her acting was gay and spontaneous. In "The Last Rose of Summer" her voice was somewhat unsteady and she was slightly below the pitch, but it was beautifully expressive and the applause after it led her to repeat it, when "Qui sola, vergin rasa" was transformed into "The Last Rose of Summer," as has been done before

Mr. Caruso had his opportunities for his most expansively romantic and tearfully expressive achievements as Lionello and his "M'Appari" was so rapturously applauded that he was obliged to repeat it, too. M. PIançon seemed at first somewhat out of his element as Plunkett, but he soon demonstrated his command over the essential features of the part and his singing, though a little predominant in the concerted numbers, was admirable. Mr. Vigna conducted with a rather heavy hand, bringing the orchestral accompaniment often too much into the foreground, but he put much spirit and life into it. No special attempt had apparently been made to present handsome scenic surroundings for the production and there were mostly stock scenes employed, But the audience was delighted with "Marta" as it was and it will be surprising if the operagoers are not given several more opportunities to hear the work this season.



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