[Met Performance] CID:46580
Metropolitan Opera Premiere (Alessandro Stradella)
Alessandro Stradella {1}
Vienna Waltzes: Wedding Scene
. Metropolitan Opera House: 02/4/1910.
 ([At the premiere, the Vienna Waltz sequence was listed in the program as the Evening Star Waltz.])
(Debuts: Ida Schlarb, Carl Reckemeyer, Oscar Strauss, Christine Dumont
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
February 4, 1910
Metropolitan Opera Premiere


ALESSANDRO STRADELLA {1}
Flotow-Friedrich

Stradella...............Leo Slezak
Leonore.................Alma Gluck
Bassi...................Adolph Mühlmann
Malvolio................Otto Goritz
Barbarino...............Albert Reiss
Dance: Ivy Craske, Ottokar Bartik, Corps de Ballet

Conductor...............Max Bendix

Director................Anton Schertel

Alessandro Stradella received six performances this season.



VIENNA WALTZES: Wedding Scene
Jo. Bayer

Bride...................Ivy Craske
Bridegroom..............Ottokar Bartik
Mother..................Ida Schlarb [Debut]
Father..................Carl Reckemeyer [Debut]
Godfather...............Oscar Strauss [Debut]

Old German Pillow Dance
Ivy Craske, Ottokar Bartik, Corps de Ballet

Ländler
Christine Dumont [Debut], Oscar Strauss

Vienna Waltz
Rita Sacchetto

Polka
Gina Torriani

Banquet Waltz
Corps de Ballet

Conductor...............Max Bendix

Set Designer............Burghart & Co.
Costume Designer........Blaschke & Cie
Choreographer...........Ottokar Bartik

[Vienna Waltz sequence was listed in the program as the Evening Star Waltz.]

Unsigned review in The New York Times (Richard Aldrich?)

FLOTOW'S STRADELLA IS HEARD

An Amusing Comic Opera of the Old Time at the Metropolitan

SLEZAK AS THE HERO

Beautiful Singing by Miss Alma Gluck - A Ballet Scene from "Vienna Woods" Follows

There was a time once when Flotow's opera " Alessandro Stradella " seemed to be destined to as long a life as his "Martha." Sixty years ago its popularity seemed quite as great. But "Martha" has come down the declining part of the nineteenth century still living, while "Alessandro Stradella " has long been shelved and almost forgotten. Not quite, for the management of the Metropolitan Opera House remembered it and brought it forward there last evening in a very pretty revival. It was not familiar, probably, to many of the audience who heard it last evening. It had not been performed for near a quarter of century in New York; then it was given by a German company, with the loud-voiced tenor, Heinrich Bötel, at its head, at the Thalia Theatre, in the Bowery, in those days a somewhat more popular place for the resort of the operatic public than it is now. And it had been heard earlier, reflecting here, in some degree, the great popularity it had at one time in Germany.

At least one of the figures in the opera is a historical personage-Alessandro Stradella-who was a noted composer and singer in the seventeenth century. And the general outline of the story of the opera for a long time was supposed to be based on veritable historical truth until modern historians began to peer into the authenticity of the legend, when they found there was little or nothing to support it, and could substitute nothing in place of it. Stradella was supposed to have abducted the ward and destined bride of a Venetian nobleman, who thereupon set two desperadoes upon his track to kill him and recover the lady. When they were ready to do their deadly work Stradella so charmed them with his singing that they immediately gave up their purpose, fell on their knees, and asked forgiveness. Stradella was, furthermore, supposed to have been the composer of a well-known and much-beloved sacred air called "Pieta, Signor," which is certainly not by Stradella, and may be by Rossini, or some other composer of the first half of the nineteenth century.

"Stradella" shows its kinship to "Martha " in the cheerful flow of melody and the gayety of its comic scenes. It is now easily enough seen to be of rather less substantial fibre, but it has pretty and agreeable music; and when the opera is presented with as much spirit as it was last night, it is amusing. The sentimental portions seem, to be sure, rather old-fashioned and threadbare, but there are familiar tunes that were greeted with pleasure, as the chorus in the second act, the tune that is also heard in the overture; and the invocation to the Virgin that Stradella sings in the last act, and that produces so profound an effect on the two desperadoes as well as their employer, the Venetian nobleman. The carnival scene is an agreeable specimen of an old-fashioned style.

The opera was very well given. The chief parts were entrusted to artists that made a good deal out of the rather flimsy material of the opera. Leo Slezak was the Stradella, a superb figure whose singing of the music was still more superb. He made a deep impression on the audience in front of him as well as on the precious pair of banditti behind him by his singing of the song to the Virgin, and he had to repeat it. The two picturesque rascals were represented by Messrs. Goritz and Reiss in a spirit of broad farce that now and again produced some amusing results. Mr. Goritz, especially, has the comic vein well developed. One of the most charming features of the performance was the singing of Miss Alma Gluck, the Leonore. The music is admirably adapted for her voice, which, though small, is of delicious purity, smoothness and limpidity, with all the freshness of youth unspoiled by vicious use or the attempt to make it bigger or richer or more dramatic, or in fact, anything other than it is.

Mr. Bendix conducted the performance not with much authority nor with results of much precision. The opera was followed by a "ballet divertissement," the wedding scene, so called, from the " Vienna Waltzes," recently sternly suppressed after having been announced for production. The scene is charming and is well given, so that it was difficult to see, so far as this portion of the ballet is concerned, any reason for an edict against it. "Vienna Waltzes" used to be in the repertory of the Metropolitan Opera House in the days of the German company, and in those far-off days used to be found pretty and entertaining.

The dances in this scene comprise an old German "pillow dance," by a company in the costume of 1830 or thereabout; a Ländler, a waltz, a polka by the solo dancers of the ballet. Ivy Craske, Ottokar Bartik, Christine Dumont, Oscar Strauss, Rita Sachetto and Gina Torriani, and, finally, a "Banquet Waltz " by the corps de ballet.



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