[Met Performance] CID:56950
Tosca {105} Metropolitan Opera House: 04/22/1914.


Metropolitan Opera House
April 22, 1914

TOSCA {105}

Tosca...................Geraldine Farrar
Cavaradossi.............Enrico Caruso
Scarpia.................Antonio Scotti
Sacristan...............Antonio Pini-Corsi [Last performance]
Spoletta................Angelo Badà
Angelotti...............Giulio Rossi
Sciarrone...............Bernard Bégué
Shepherd................Sophie Braslau
Jailer..................Paolo Ananian

Conductor...............Giorgio Polacco

Unsigned Review and Account in The New York Times:


Opera Stars Recalled 40 Times After Last Appearance of Season in "Tosca"


Audience Refuses to Leave and Miss Farrar Drags in Caruso in Dressing Gown and Makes Speech

At 10:55 last night the curtain fell for the finish of the performance of "Tosca," in which Miss Farrar and Messrs. Caruso and Scotti were making their last appearance of the season at the Metropolitan Opera House. Then it rose to allow Miss Farrar and Mr. Caruso to appear for their recalls before the small curtain used for that purpose. The applause from one of the largest audiences of the season became tumultuous at this point. Not half the audience left the auditorium, and loud shouts made it evident that the stars were to be forced into making a speech if it were possible.

They took about a dozen calls, and nobody's enthusiasm seemed to have abated a jot. Ladies in brilliant wraps and men who donned silk hats to protect them from the draughts which swept in at all the open doors seemed to have made up their minds that they would test the strength of their gloves. Everybody, including the artists, knew it was a demand for a speech, but Miss Farrar and Mr. Caruso tried to act as though no such thing had ever occurred to them.

Finally, after about the twentieth call, the tenor began to make motions toward his throat, assuming a pitiful expression as of one who is suffering greatly from hoarseness. He tried taking off his wig and waving it at the audience to appease them, but that did no good. The next time he appeared he was without the impressive Van Dyke which he wears as the artist Cavaradossi in the opera. This was the signal for renewed endeavor on the part of the audience who took it for encouragement. After this things began to happen so fast that they can only be related in bulletins, about as follows:

11:01 - the stage manager lowers the curtain in an attempt to start the audience away. No result.

11:03 - stage manager tears his hair. On the twenty-first curtain call Caruso does a jig step and tries to push Farrar down to the footlights and leave her to make the speech alone.

11:07 - Audience still applauding and no relief in sight. Friends of the tenor hunt for an Italian-English dictionary.

11:09 - Stage manager has bright idea. Lowers the asbestos curtain. Audience thinks it would be fun to make them raise this curtain, and starts in to do it. Succeeds. Three more curtain calls. Stars go to their dressing rooms, but audience stays right there. Stage manager tried to find a few members of orchestra to play "Home, Sweet Home." Pandemonium.

11:16 -- After long wait audience takes to pounding on floor and on edge of orchestra pit. Asbestos curtain raised. Miss Farrar appears and drags in Caruso who has started to dress and appears in dressing gown.

At this sign of its triumph the audience in the parquet crowded down to the front, many of them shouting. Miss Farrar came to the footlights, motioning for silence, and it was evident that the oratorial treat was about to commence.

"When we had to make a speech last year." said Miss Farrar. "Mr. Caruso ran away and left me in the lurch. So now I will just say, "I thank you." Thereupon she poked Caruso rather violently in the ribs and he began his speech making every word count, and saying in full as follows: "And-I-say-thank-you"

Thereupon the audience was satisfied and began to make its way out of the house. The whole demonstration lasted twenty minutes, and in its duration there were forty recalls, according to the man who works the curtain, before he lost count. Nothing like it has ever been witnessed at the opera house.

Added Index Entries for Subjects and Names

Back to short citation(s).