[Met Performance] CID:40330
La Bohème {56} Metropolitan Opera House: 12/20/1907.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 20, 1907


LA BOHÈME {56}

Mimì....................Geraldine Farrar
Rodolfo.................Alessandro Bonci, Act I
Rodolfo.................Andreas Dippel, Acts II, III, IV
Musetta.................Fely Dereyne
Marcello................Riccardo Stracciari
Schaunard...............Bernard Bégué
Colline.................Marcel Journet
Benoit..................Eugène Dufriche
Alcindoro...............Raffaele Barocchi
Parpignol...............Giuseppe Tecchi
Sergeant................Vittorio Navarini
Officer.................Mr. Dragoni

Conductor...............Rodolfo Ferrari


Review:

The headline in the New York Times read: "Mr. Bonci's Courage Better Than His Voice in Last Night's La Boheme."

An announcment at the performance asked the audience's indulgence since Mr. Bonci was hoarse. "It soon became evident that Mr. Bonci was singing with the greatest difficulty, and some in the audience gasped when Rodolfo's narrative was cut bodily from the score. The final duet in this act was sung by Miss Farrar alone. "After the curtain went down there was a long wait. Then Max Hirsch again appeared before the footlights. 'Mr. Bonci's hoarseness has become so severe,' he said, 'that he will be unable to finish the opera. Mr. Dippel...'-

Whatever else Mr. Hirsch may have had in mind to say will never be known, for laughter and applause interrupted the announcement at this point. When the second act started it was found that Rodolfo had gained several inches. Dippel, the indispensable, was again on the job. It was in the course of the first act that Mr. Dippel was sent for. When Mr. Bonci came to the Opera House he hoped to be able to get through the performance, as he thought he could conquer his hoarseness. When he found that he could not he signaled a man in the wings, and then a search for a new tenor began.

Mr. Dippel was not at his hotel, but, as Hattie Williams says, he has 'had experience,' and he had left word where he was dining, and he was found at a dinner party in Madison Avenue. The telephone summons said: 'come to the theatre at once. Mr. Bonci is ill, and we want you to sing in La Bohème. "Please let me finish my dinner,' pleaded Mr. Dippel. But they wouldn't and he good-naturedly took a carriage, drove to the opera house, and hurried into his costume. The curtain was held only a short time."



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