[Met Performance] CID:42000
Faust {256} Academy of Music, New York, Brooklyn: 11/14/1908.

(Debuts: Adamo Didur, Jean Noté, Paolo Ananian, Francesco Spetrino, Jules Speck
Review)


New York, Brooklyn
Brooklyn Academy of Music
November 14, 1908

Weber: Jubel Overture

The Star Spangled Banner
Geraldine Farrar


FAUST {256}
Gounod-Barbier/Carré

Faust...................Enrico Caruso
Marguerite..............Geraldine Farrar
Méphistophélès..........Adamo Didur [Debut]
Valentin................Jean Noté [Debut]
Siebel..................Rita Fornia
Marthe..................Marie Mattfeld
Wagner..................Paolo Ananian [Debut]

Conductor...............Francesco Spetrino [Debut]

Director................Jules Speck [Debut]
Set Designer............Kautsky & Rottonara Brothers
Costume Designer........Blaschke & Cie

Faust received twelve performances this season.


This performance marked the inauguration of the new Brooklyn Academy of Music, a theater erected to replace the original Academy that burned down in 1903. The evening's performance of Faust was preceded by a special dedication event: Weber's Jubel Overture and the national anthem. Geraldine Farrar performed The Star Spangled Banner on a pedestal on stage wearing a Grecian robe and holding a spear: the Goddess of Liberty.

[For this season's performances, the Orchestra numbered 150 players and the Chorus 200 singers.]


Unsigned Review in Herald

Despite the worst that the weather man could do Brooklyn's first real opera season began brilliantly last night. The new Academy of Music, covering the block front in Lafayette Avenue, between Ashland Place and St. Felix Street, opened a few weeks ago, was formally dedicated by the Metropolitan Opera Company with a fine performance of "Faust." Messrs. Giulio Gatti-Casazza and Andreas Dippel sent their premier tenor, Mr. Enrico Caruso, and Miss Geraldine Farrar to head the cast. It was the first time they have been heard in this city this season and the first time either of them has sung in Brooklyn. Then there was a new barytone, Mr. Jean Note, who made his American debut, and it was the first appearance with the Metropolitan forces of Adamo Didur, basso, heard last season at the Manhattan. Under all the circumstances, it was little wonder that the new opera house, admitted to be one of the handsomest on the continent, was crowded with the society of the big borough across the bridge and that enthusiasm was the keynote of the night.

It was a few minutes after eight o'clock when the performance began. The Metropolitan Opera House orchestra played the Jubel overture by Weber, and as the familiar strains of "America" were heard the entire audience stood. Then the curtain of the vast stage was raised, disclosing Miss Farrar on a pedestal, dressed as the Goddess of Liberty. The audience broke into a storm of applause, and as soon as she could be heard the American soprano sang beautifully "The Star Spangled Banner," while a huge American flag was slowly raised behind her.

The scene that followed was one that stirred even the veterans of the opera. The house fairly rose at her and the applause shook the glittering chandeliers. Again and again the curtain was raised, but Miss Farrar would not come down from her pedestal. A huge bouquet of American Beauty roses was held temptingly across the footlights, but the goddess remained on her throne. Then the flowers and more flowers were cast at her feet, and the applause, swelling again, continued for some time.

Fine Performance of "Faust"

The curtain rose at half-past eight upon "Faust," sung in French, with Miss Farrar as Marguerite, Mr. Caruso as Faust, Mr. Didur as Mephistopheles and Mr. Note as Valentin. Mr. Note has a fresh and ringing voice and an admirable French diction that brought out every word with beautiful clearness. His "Dio Possente" was greeted with a round of well deserved applause, and came as near receiving an encore as anything during the evening. As a rule the audience was rather chary of its applause during the opera., and, strange to say, the chief singers received not the slightest welcoming applause upon their first appearance. It follows almost as a matter of course that the applause at no time rose to such a pitch as to warrant repetition. New York would certainly have insisted upon having Mr. Caruso's "Demeure Chaste et Pure," Miss Farrar's "Jewel Song" and Mr. Didur's "Dieu de l'Or" over again, but Brooklyn kept its plaudits for the end of the acts, and then brought the singers out again and again.

Miss Farrar was in capital voice and made much, as usual, of the "King of Thule" and of the "Jewel Song." Mr. Caruso, while suffering from a slight cold, sang admirably. Mr. Didur seems to have grown somewhat in artistic stature since last season, but the pirouettes with which he punctuates the "Dieu de l'Or" still suggests more the ballet master than His Satanic Majesty. Miss Rita Fornia was the Siebel and Miss Mattfeld the Marthe. One of the Metropolitan's new conductors, Mr. Francesco Spetrino, made a pleasant impression. He had at all times his forces well in hand, and brought out the choral climaxes of the third act with sonorous effect.



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