[Met Performance] CID:37070
Hänsel und Gretel {10}
Il Barbiere di Siviglia {60}
Metropolitan Opera House: 02/23/1906.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
February 23, 1906


HÄNSEL UND GRETEL {10}
Humperdinck-Wette

Hänsel..................Lina Abarbanell
Gretel..................Bella Alten
Gertrud.................Marion Weed
Peter...................Otto Goritz
Witch...................Louise Homer
Sandman.................Florence Mulford
Dew Fairy...............Roberta Glanville

Conductor...............Nathan Franko


IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA: Act II {60}
Rossini-Sterbini

Figaro..................Giuseppe Campanari
Rosina..................Marcella Sembrich
Count Almaviva..........Andreas Dippel
Dr. Bartolo.............Arcangelo Rossi
Don Basilio.............Marcel Journet
Berta...................Mathilde Bauermeister
Sergeant................Giovanni Paroli

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

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

[In the Lesson Scene Sembrich sang "Voci di primavera" (Strauss) and "Ah! Non giunge" from "La Sonnambula." The program listed Paroli as Fiorello, a character that does not appear in Acts II and III of Rossini's comedy. A later program clarified the error, identifying Paroli's role as that of the Sergeant.]

Il Barbiere di Siviglia received one performance this season.


Unsigned review and account in The New York Times:

OPERA'S DOUBLE BILL HAD STRANGE ENDING

Few Stayed for Fourth Act of "Barbiere di Siviglia."

WASN'T ON THE PROGRAMME

Managers Trying to Find Out Who Was Responsible for Blunder - "Hansel und Gretel" Sung

The Metropolitan Opera House audience left in sections last night, and the last act of the second part of the double bill was sung to perhaps a hundred persons in the orchestra. At an early hour this morning the management had been unable to discover who was responsible for such a queer ending to an operatic evening. The hundred who stayed appreciated the treat given to such a slim audience; those who furnished it plainly relished the joke. It was all plain enough on the programme, and the thousands who left early had a reason. The first half of the bill was "Hansel und Gretel," to be followed, according to the programme, by Acts II and III of "Il Barbiere di Siviglia."

Many persons left quite early in the evening to attend some social functions, but the majority remained to see the curtain fall on Act III of the second piece. Here comes the puzzle: When the patrons of grand opera got up and left after Act III, was it because they didn't know that the opera contained a fourth act? Or did they take the programme literally and believe it was not to be given? They filed out, but the hundred --- knowing persons, evidently - stood up, looked around in a bewildered manner, and sat down again to see what was coming. The singers were evidently in a quandary, too. The question was:

"Shall we sing to the remaining few, or shall the curtain stay down?"

Although it was then 11:30 o'clock, it was decided in a few moments to sing the fourth act, and the hesitating flock in front was perhaps as much puzzled to see the curtain rise again to an almost empty house as they would have been had it remained down for the night. "Hansel und Gretel" was hurried through to make time for the popular Italian opera, which had not been given a place on the list before this season, owing partly to the fact that there was no baritone in the company capable of singing and acting the part of Figaro. This obstacle was overcome when Mr. Campanari was tardily enlisted, and Figaro being a character in which he has always been admired, last night's performance was looked forward to with feelings of pleasurable expectation.

But something had to be done to force five hours of operatic music and action into four, and so the "Barber" was abbreviated as to its head. With the first act went Mr. Campanari's "Largo al factotum" and also Mme. Sembrich's opportunity to enjoy the privilege which all Rosinas have had for nearly three generations of making a double entry - of being heard and not seen in the first act and then seen and heard simultaneously in the second.

When the opera began it was evident that much of its sparkle was going to be missed, and there was nothing really sprightly about it till the lesson scene, into which Mme. Sembrich introduced as often before Strauss's "Primavera" waltz, and "Ah! Non giunge" from "La Sonnambula." At the close of the act the listeners rose to their feet, and a vast majority of them having already listened to four hours of music, and deceived by the announcement of scenes from acts two and three only on the programme, started for home after staring perplexed at the lights, the orchestra, and Conductor Vigna. It became evident that after all the opera was to be brought to its conventional end. This was done, but scarcely more than a hundred occupants of the orchestra heard that end, which was sung with peculiar enjoyment of its humor by Mme. Sembrich, Mr. Dippel, and Mr. Campanari, evidently because of the ridiculous turn which affairs had taken.



Added Index Entries for Subjects and Names


Back to short citation(s).