[Met Performance] CID:42520
Tiefland {5} Metropolitan Opera House: 12/26/1908.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 26, 1908


TIEFLAND {5}

Marta...................Emmy Destinn
Pedro...................Erik Schmedes
Nuri....................Isabelle L'Huillier
Sebastiano..............Fritz Feinhals
Moruccio................Adolph Mühlmann
Tommaso.................Allen Hinckley
Nando...................Albert Reiss
Pepa....................Rita Fornia
Antonia.................Marie Mattfeld
Rosalia.................Maria Ranzow

Conductor...............Alfred Hertz


Unsigned review in an unidentified New York City newspaper

It would be a pity if last night's "Tiefland" were the last performance of d'Albert's opera in New York. The work has unquestionable musical and dramatic substance, and under favorable conditions ought to win as great success here as in Berlin. But the audience last night was small, though the prices were those that generally prevail in the Metropolitan on Saturday nights. Such meager support from the public, particularly from the German-speaking public, is not calculated to encourage the production of new works.

Here was an opportunity to hear at moderate prices an opera that has had a phenomenal run in Berlin, and the cast contained no less prominent a prima donna than Emmy Destinn. Yet the parquet showed rows upon rows of empty chairs. Would "Tiefland" suffer similarly if presented in English in a smaller house?

Perhaps the story of "Tiefland" in the Metropolitan would have been a different one if the first performance had been equal to that of last night. Yet the disadvantages of an immense auditorium are not overcome easily, even by excellent singing. Destinn gave a better performance of Marta than before; but her portrayal still has far less human interest than Labia's Marta as Berlin saw it. Evidently the Bohemian soprano has not studied it with interest and devotion equal to those of her sister artist. She sings and acts as if she were fulfilling an unpleasant duty.

Schmedes, in somewhat better vocal condition than a few days ago, repeated a forceful portrayal of Pedro. But couldn't this tall singer manage to carry Marta back into the Highlands at the final curtain in a fashion, less forced and unnatural? He ought to have studied the art of the great Sicilian actor, Grasso, and his present leading lady, Signora Eranagalia who succeeded Mimi Aguglia. As before Feinhals was the Sebastiano Other singers were Fornia, Mattfeld, Ranenberg, L"Huilier, and Reiss. Hertz conducted with firm hand on all his forces and with unflagging interest and enthusiasm.



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