[Met Performance] CID:49000
United States Premiere
Armide {1} Metropolitan Opera House: 11/14/1910.
 (United States Premiere)
(Opening Night {26}
Giulio Gatti-Casazza, General Manager

Debuts: Lucia Fornaroli, Anna Mariani, Maison Muelle
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
November 14, 1910
Opening Night {26}

Giulio Gatti-Casazza, General Manager


United States Premiere

ARMIDE {1}
C. W. Gluck--Quinault

Armide..................Olive Fremstad
Renaud..................Enrico Caruso
Hate....................Louise Homer
Hidraot.................Pasquale Amato
Phénice.................Jeanne Maubourg
Sidonie.................Lenora Sparkes
Ubalde..................Dinh Gilly
Danish Knight...........Angelo Badà
Lucinde.................Alma Gluck
Artémidore..............Albert Reiss
Aronte..................Andrés De Segurola
Naiad...................Marie Rappold
Love....................Alma Gluck

Act I Incidental dance: Corps de ballet
Act II Dance of the Shepherds: Lucia Fornaroli [Debut], Anna Mariani [Debut], and corps de ballet
Act III Dance Inferanale: Gina Torriani, Lucia Fornaroli, Marcelle Myrtille, and corps de ballet
Act IV Dance of the Shepherds: Lucia Fornaroli, Anna Mariani, and corps de ballet
Act V Divertissement: Gina Torriani, Lucia Fornaroli, and corps de ballet

Conductor...............Arturo Toscanini

Director................Jules Speck
Designer................Paul Paquereau

[Fremstad's costumes were designed by Maison Muelle.]


Review in the Globe (Pitts Sanborn?):

Much of the success of the performance was, of course, due to Mr. Toscanini, who injected his own splendid enthusiasm into the forces at his command. The orchestra played now with resounding vigor, now with exquisite delicacy, and the choruses rang out bravely.

There is not a part in the opera that can be allotted carelessly, and to make the cast as strong as possible the company had been drawn on unreservedly. The figure that dominated the stage was Mme. Fremstad. In the first act, though she sang wonderfully, with beauty of tone and the authority of complete understanding, in gait and gesture there was a disturbing suggestion of Mary Garden's Salome that was hard to reconcile with Gluck's heroine. But in the next act the real Armide appeared, magnificent with tawny mane flung over a robe of green and silver, and all doubts sank to rest. From that moment Mme. Fremstad's was the performance of a great lyric tragedian, who looked, acted and sang her part. Who could forget her as she sat black-cloaked among the horrid troupe of Hate, a figure of classic woe in that grotesque rout? And there could be no surer proof of the power of her impersonation than when in the last act on her knees before a Red Cross knight that looked a flower-crowned Bacchus she could command the rapt attention of the audience.

The admirable quality of her singing in the first act she maintained throughout the opera. Most of the music lies well in her voice, but it is music that is relentless in its demands on a singer's intelligence, style and physical endurance. To sing it as Mme. Fremstad did is a triumph. This gifted artist, who long ago established her excellence in the heroic women of the north, has now added to her glory a mastery of the classic style of France.

Renaud is a hard part to cast. Jean de Reszke would have filled all its requirements, physical and vocal, but who besides him? There is no getting away from the fact that Mr. Caruso, who evidently did not spend last summer in fasting, if he did in prayer, was an apparition almost fatal to illusion. But he was in good voice and he did sing with restraint of manner and ravishing beauty of tone. The splendid voices of Mr. Amato and Mr. Gilly were heard with pleasure in the music of Hidraot and Ubalde. Miss Sparkes sang well the difficult music of Sidonie. Miss Maubourg as Phenice made up in diction and atmosphere for what she lacked in voice. Mme. Homer in the taxing role of Hate will probably improve with repetition. The once Piociniot in the cast was Mr. Bada. Much though the part of the Danish Knight was cut down, if overweighed him seriously. After all, none but a tenor of the first rank can carry that difficult and beautiful role.


Production photos of Armide by White Studio.



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