[Met Performance] CID:59510
Carmen {215} Matinee ed. Metropolitan Opera House: 03/18/1915.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
March 18, 1915 Matinee


CARMEN {215}

Carmen..................Geraldine Farrar
Don José................Giovanni Martinelli
Micaela.................Frances Alda
Escamillo...............Pasquale Amato
Frasquita...............Mabel Garrison
Mercédès................Sophie Braslau
Remendado...............Angelo Badà
Dancaïre................Robert Leonhardt
Zuniga..................Léon Rothier
Moralès.................Désiré Defrère
Dance...................Rosina Galli

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

Director................Jules Speck
Set Designer............Mario Sala
Set Designer............James Fox
Costume Designer........Giuseppe Palanti


Unsigned review in the Tribune

There was plenty to do in the opera world of yesterday, with French opera comique and German music-drama to choose from. Bizet's "Carmen" was the afternoon, and despite the fact that it was a non-subscription repetition and that Enrico Caruso was no longer in the cast the house was of nearly capacity proportions. Wagner's "Götterdämmerung" was the evening offering, and, to this too, went a goodly outpouring. The "Carmen" performance was of chief note because of the first appearance as Don José of Giovanni Martinelli, it being in addition the first time he had ever sung the part in French.

There was much to praise in the young tenor's début. His diction, it is true, was far from good, but he sang with expression, with passion and with continence of tone. He was at first manifestly nervous, but by the time his great air arrived he was master of himself, and he gave it smoothly yet in a manner pregnant with feeling. It was in the last act, however, that he was a surprise.

Rarely has Don José been acted with such truth, such pathos, such tragedy as Signor Martinelli displayed. In it, above all in his last despairing cry over the dead body of the girl whom he had killed and still loved, there was a really exquisite tenderness. Those who saw it were thankful that at last a singer had been found who could suggest the simple, straightforward, heartbroken country boy even at the moment of intensest frenzy. With Signor Martinelli Don José is, in his final scene, neither a brute nor an avenging spirit; he is a man, and a good man, driven beyond the bonds of all forbearing. And in so conceiving him the pathos but heightens the tragedy.

Miss Farrar's Carmen was as carefully composed as ever, and she sang the music as skillfully, though with little warmth of tone. Mr. Amato is not an ideal Toreador, either in song or act. He seems ill at home in a language not his own, and his magnificent voice loses much of its beauty of timbre. Mme. Alda sang Micaela pleasingly, and the parts entrusted to Mr. Rothier, Mr. Leonhardt, Mr. Bada, Miss Garrison and Miss Braslau were all well done. Mr. Toscanini conducted and once more there was marvel as to the wonderful clarity of the score and perfection of detail as evoked by his magic baton.



Added Index Entries for Subjects and Names


Back to short citation(s).