[Met Performance] CID:49170
La Traviata {77} Metropolitan Opera House: 11/29/1910.

(Debuts: John McCormack, Carlo Galeffi

Metropolitan Opera House
November 29, 1910

Giuseppe Verdi--Francesco Maria Piave

Violetta................Nellie Melba [Last performance]
Alfredo.................John McCormack [Debut]
Germont.................Carlo Galeffi [Debut]
Flora...................Jeanne Maubourg
Gastone.................Pietro Audisio
Baron Douphol...........Vincenzo Reschiglian
Marquis D'Obigny........Bernard Bégué
Dr. Grenvil.............Giulio Rossi
Annina..................Marie Mattfeld
Dance...................Gina Torriani

Conductor...............Vittorio Podesti

Director................Jules Speck

La Traviata received three performances this season.

Unsigned review

Though Nellie Melba's name illuminated the cast of the season's first performance of "La Traviata" in the Metropolitan Opera House last night, and though John McCormack who is said to have a large following in this city, has come all the way from Chicago to sing the part of Alfredo, the auditorium of the big theatre was not nearly filled. That fact, however, does not signify as much as it would seem at first thought if one stops to consider that the performance was a special one, and so had no subscribers to rely on. When Mme. Melba sang in "Rigoletto" on last Thursday evening, which was a subscription night, she had the biggest audience of the season.

Besides Melba and McCormack yesterday's cast had another singer who invited special attention. That was Carlo Galeffi, baritone who, as Giorgio Germont,revealed a fine robust voice, but little skill in managing it. Despite his faulty tone production his explosive style and tendency to force his voice into a vibrato, the audience liked the new singer, who comes from the Boston Opera Company.

New Yorkers remember Melba's Violetta when it was unsurpassed in vocal brilliancy, and there are some faithful operagoers whose vivid memory enables them to thrill to it now almost as they used to in past years. Those fortunate ones applauded the famous prima donna enthusiastically last night and made others in the audience wish they were moved to do the same.

Listeners who could not warm up to Melba's singing found some compensation in John McCormack, the charm of whose lyric tenor was not lost in the vast spaces of the opera house where is was heard for the first time last night. Jeanne Maubourg was cast for Flora, Marie Mattfield for Annina, Pietro Andisio for Gastone, Reschigian for Baron Duphol, Bergue for Marquis D"Obigny, and Rossi for Dr. Granville. Podesta conducted.

Another unsigned review

"La Traviata" for the first time this season, last night in the Metropolitan Opera House served to present Mme. Melba in one of her most famous rôles and to introduce a newcomer, Mr. Carlo Galeffi, a young Italian barytone, who appeared as the elder Germont.

Mme. Melba as Violetta has lost none of her charm. Her voice in the part is of a wonderful bell-like quality, and the "Sempre Libera" was sung with a brilliancy that caused much enthusiasm. The final pathetic scene was fairly well acted and remarkably well sung.

Mr. Carlo Galeffi is a handsome man, of graceful bearing, who possesses a good voice, and when less affected by the nervousness incident to a début may give a still better account of himself. As it was he sang the "Di provenza" sufficiently well to win applause, and, barring an exaggerated tremolo, it was a highly creditable achievement.

Mr. John McCormack made his most favorable impression last season in the Manhattan Opera House, when he sang Alfredo to the Violetta of Mme. T***azzini. Last night his excellent voice, if small for so large a house, was true and musical and blended well with that of Mme. Melba. The minor parts were satisfactorily done and the ball room scene of the third act was full of life and color. Mr. Podesta conducted.

There was much applause and flowers for Mme. Melba after the first act, and after the ball room scene all the singers were called several times before the curtain.

Unsigned review

Madame Melba's version of "Ah! Fors e lui," naturally aroused enthusiasm, for the whole audience had gathered in her honor. One of the most delightful features of the evening was an anarchic contradiction in costuming. Madame Melba was dressed as a gay lady of the year 1850, while the rest of the characters were garbed in the vestments of 1750. This had the valued effect of making Madame Melba appear a whole century younger than her assistant artists.

M. Carlo Galeffi made his début as Giorgio Germont. While his presence was attractive and his voice unusually good, he has faults in his singing that will preclude his development into any sort of favorite among New York audiences. John McCormack sang Alfredo, but all that can be said of him is that his voice was agreeable and his style frank and straightforward.

Added Index Entries for Subjects and Names

Back to short citation(s).