[Met Performance] CID:5360
Le Prophète {25} Metropolitan Opera House: 11/24/1886.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
November 24, 1886
In German


LE PROPHÈTE {25}

Jean of Leyden..........Albert Niemann
Berthe..................Lilli Lehmann
Fidès...................Marianne Brandt
Zacharie................Georg Sieglitz
Jonas...................Max Alvary
Mathisen................Rudolph Von Milde
Count Oberthal..........Wilhelm Basch
Dance...................Malvina Cavalazzi
Dance...................Miss Leonhardt

Conductor...............Walter Damrosch

Unsigned review in The New York Times

METROPOLITAN OPERA HOUSE.

The well balanced and impressive representation of Meyerbeer's "Prophet," with which the frequenters of the Metropolitan Opera House were made acquainted at the outset of the season now in progress, was repeated last evening to the delight of a large and fashionable assemblage. The familiar artists reappeared in their familiar rôles, the old time stage pictures greeted the eye, with their inspiriting animation and mediaeval wealth of color, and the broad and massive strains of Meyerbeer's score fell upon the ear with the suavity and richness for which the music of "The Prophet" is surpassed by no latter-day achievements. As heretofore, Herr Niemann was John of Leyden, Fräulein Brandt Fides and Fräulein Lehmann Bertha. The tenor's vocal work began well, and in the scene in which he brings his mutinous soldiery to their knees he rendered the stirring measures with which the act terminates with considerable tonal power. Herr Niemann was not so fortunate when the dénouement of the opera was reached, by which time, in truth, most tenors are pretty well exhausted. From a histrionic standpoint Herr Niemann's portrayal of John of Leyden is entitled to high praise. The whole cathedral act must be cited as equal to anything of the sort that can be beheld nowadays the world over, and it is simple justice to say that last night, in his scene with Fides, he offered a spectacle of intense emotion, repressed at length by a mighty effort, and replete with expressive touches of infinite variety and naturalness, the like of which has not been looked upon by the present generation of playgoers. Fräuleins Brandt and Lehmann were as successful, on the occasion under notice, as in the past. The former artist's Fides is as admirable an effort as her Ortrud - and the character is, of course, far more trying - and in the incidents occurring in the Munster she rises easily to the plane of Herr Niemann's elaborate and touching representation. Fräulein Lehmann's Bertha is mainly attractive and impressive through the songstress's organ and execution; her voice, yesterday, was notably brilliant, and her singing unexceptionable in its finish. The scene in which Bertha stabs herself was re-established in last evening's performance, as in its predecessors this season. Its absence, as a general thing, is not acutely felt, although it contains possibilities for an actress of strong dramatic impulses. The two songstresses were thrice called out after their duet in the fourth act, and Herr Niemann was summoned before the curtain after the sun - a luminary of exceeding but somewhat ill-distributed splendor - had risen upon the spires and housetops of the beleaguered city. The subsidiary rôles in "The Prophet" were, as usual, in efficient hands; the orchestra, under Walter Damrosch's lead, went through its task with earnestness and precision; the chorus kept in time and in tune, and the ballet, led by Cavalazzi and Fräulein Leonhardt, elicited generous applause



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