[Met Performance] CID:55300
Madama Butterfly {87} Matinee ed. Metropolitan Opera House: 12/13/1913.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 13, 1913 Matinee


MADAMA BUTTERFLY {87}

Cio-Cio-San.............Emmy Destinn
Pinkerton...............Giovanni Martinelli
Suzuki..................Rita Fornia
Sharpless...............Antonio Scotti
Goro....................Angelo Badà
Bonze...................Bernard Bégué
Yamadori................Pietro Audisio
Kate Pinkerton..........Helen Mapleson
Commissioner............Giulio Rossi
Yakuside................Francesco Cerri

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


Review of Max Smith in the New York Press:
Destinn scores as Cio-Cio-San

Brings tears to Eyes of Lovers of Pathetic Puccini Opera

Singing Glorious; Acting Sincere

Bohemian Soprano Rarely Seen Here in Role of Nipponese Heroine

Unable to withhold 'Madama Butterfly' any longer from his subscribers just because G******** F*****, who in recent years seems to have had the exclusive rights to Cio-Cio-San in the Metropolitan Opera House, continues to be indisposed. Giulio Gatti-Casazza presented Puccini's most popular opera yesterday afternoon with Emmy Destinn in the title role.

The great Bohemian soprano is by no means a novice as John Luther Long's Nipponese heroine, though she has impersonated the part only on rare occasions in New York. In fact, the good people of London will hear of no other Butterfly than hers, and whenever Mme. Destinn sings it in Covent Garden the royal box is sure to be occupied.

Appears to Advantage

It may well be questioned, however, whether Mme. Destinn ever has been heard to greater advantage in that or any other role than she was yesterday. In appearance, to be sure, she hardly made an ideal Cio-Cio-San, nor did she reveal many of those captivating graces which some persons think are of utmost importance. But in quality of tone, ranging from the most limpid mezzo-voce to full-throated exuberance of voice, her singing was glorious -- there is no other word to express it -- and her acting, if not cast in the most delicate mold, had a spontaneity, a sincerity, an emotional force, that went straight to the heart.

No wonder that Mme. Destinn gave the most hardened opera goers new thrills; no wonder that she aroused stormy demonstrations of approval; no wonder that many of her listeners were in tears after the final curtain. Her performance was one that few could resist.

Martinelli as Pinkerton

In other respects the cast was familiar. Giovanni Martinelli once more presented a youthful and demonstrative portrayal of Pinkerton. Antonio Scotti repeated his dignified and sympathetic impersonation of the Consul. Rita Fornia as Suzuki, Helen Mapleson as Kate Pinderton, Bada as Goro, Audisio as Yamadori, Begue as Lo Zio Bonzo, Cerri as Yakuside and Romolo [Rossi] as the Commissario Imperiale completed the cast.

The orchestra played with the transparent euphony, refinement of nuance and precision which it only attains under the magic baton of Arturo Toscanini.



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