[Met Performance] CID:5660
Fidelio {12} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/19/1887.


Metropolitan Opera House
January 19, 1887


Leonore.................Lilli Lehmann
Florestan...............Albert Niemann
Don Pizarro.............Adolf Robinson
Rocco...................Emil Fischer
Marzelline..............Auguste Seidl-Kraus
Jaquino.................Otto Kemlitz
Don Fernando............Rudolph Von Milde
First Prisoner..........Julius Meyer
Second Prisoner.........Emil Sänger

Conductor...............Anton Seidl|

Review in The New York Times:


The second representation of "Fidelio" at the Metropolitan Opera House brought together, last evening, the largest assemblage that has been gathered in that spacious auditorium during the progress of the current season. Beethoven's profound and noble work was performed by the same artists - with one exception - that took part in its recent revival, and the favorite - and not injudicious - practice of restraining enthusiasm until the close of each act, and allowing the vent-up delight of the listener to express itself in repeated calls before the curtain, was adhered to as in the recent past. The final demonstration of approval was uncommonly hearty and protracted, and it may be asserted that the auditors left the house in a most contented frame of mind. Yet the performance was not as striking, in one important respect, as that of Friday last. Its comparative inferiority was the outcome of the single change in the cast to which reference is made above. The assignment of Leonore to Fräulein Lehmann was scarcely a happy one and, little as was expected by the soprano's admirers, it is distressing to note that still less was granted them. It was not to be anticipated by any one, however, that the emotional aspect of the personage would receive adequate treatment at Fräulein Lehmann's hands; when it is borne in mind that Leonore is emotion personified, the weakness of Fräulein Lehmann, whom nothing less stirring than the most frenzied measures in "Tristan and Isolde" has ever warmed into genuine passion, might in truth have been foreseen. That her portrayal of Leonore was a conventionally interesting one-goes without saying, for Fräulein Lehmann is an artist of experience, and nothing she attempts is marred by lack of proportion and finish. Still, even had her work not invited comparison with Fräulein Brandt's remarkable delineation, in which grief and affection were so powerfully depicted that one lost sight of all else, it could not be reckoned with Fräulein Lehmann's most creditable efforts. To add to its feebleness, either through fatigue or from some other cause, the tonal beauty the German soprano imparts to most of her numbers was missed from yesterday's performance, especially in the scene and air in the first act; the second act went better in every way, and the last duet with Florestan was given with considerable élan and effect. Herr Niemann's Florestan was, as on the earlier occasion already referred to, conspicuous for pathos of the most touching sort, illustrated by methods as simple as they were artistic. The remaining characters were divided between Herren Robinson, Fischer and Von Milde and Frau Seidl-Krauss and were presented with accuracy and earnestness. Between the second and third acts - for the curtain is lowered after the dungeon scene, thus investing the final tableau with the dignity of an act - the orchestra played with great fire and brilliancy the familiar "Leonore" overture No. 3.

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