[Met Performance] CID:5800
Rienzi {17} Metropolitan Opera House: 02/9/1887.


Metropolitan Opera House
February 9, 1887


Cola Rienzi.............Anton Schott
Irene...................Lilli Lehmann
Paolo Orsini............Adolf Robinson
Adriano.................Marianne Brandt
Stefano Colonna.........Emil Fischer
Raimondo................Rudolph Von Milde
Baroncelli..............Otto Kemlitz
Cecco del Vecchio.......Emil Sänger
Messenger...............Georgine von Januschowsky

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

Review in The New York Times:


A very admirable performance of "Rienzi" delighted a large audience gathered at the Metropolitan Opera House last evening. Whatever opinion Wagner's partisans may hold of this work, the fact remains that it is brimful of melody, and that even those parts of the score that are scarcely suited in feeling and form to the dramatic subject matter claim the praise due to vivid theatrical effectiveness. Some of the numbers, as there has been occasion to observe more than once in these columns, are of great beauty and dramatic power; without referring to each of them anew it may be repeated that the concerted piece directly preceding the final allegro of the second act, for example, in respect of loveliness of theme and skillful leading of the voices, is worthy of any Italian or German composer, past or present. Last night's representation, as implied, did ample justice to the opera. The good impression of Herr Schott's broad and. vigorous phrasing was heightened by the singer's judicious self-restraint and, if at distant intervals a possibility was suggested that he might wander from the key, the mishap was apprehended rather than noted. The tenor gave out the theme of the fine concerted number above cited with deep and communicative sentiment and with not a little tonal charm; his recitative, although characterized by a trifle more "brusquerie," perhaps, than was invariably called for, was varied and forceful, and his entrance on horseback and spirited rendering of the battle hymn was so martial and novel as to kindle extraordinary enthusiasm. The remaining artists - the same concerned in last week's production of "Rienzi" - were all on a plane with Herr Schott, whose portrayal of the titular personage of the work has unquestionable merits. Fräulein Brandt acted Adriano to perfection, and sang her tuneful air in the third act in capital style. Fräulein Lehmann, as Irene, revealed again, in the finale of Act IL, the brilliant timbre and vibrant power of her tones. Herren Fischer and Robinson embodied efficiently as heretofore Steffano and Orsini, and the solo in the chorus of the "Messengers of Peace" was most cleverly interpreted by Fräulein von Januschowsky. The spectacular incidents of "Rienzi," be it also recorded, were never seen to better advantage than in yesterday's performance, and the evolutions of the "ballerina" and the sword combats and groupings of the turners in Roman garb were carried on with somewhat exceptional precision, which was rewarded by general and long continued applause.

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