[Met Performance] CID:61120
Il Barbiere di Siviglia {84} Metropolitan Opera House: 11/25/1915.

(Debuts: Giuseppe De Luca, Giacomo Damacco, Pompilio Malatesta
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
November 25, 1915


IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA {84}
Rossini-Sterbini

Figaro..................Giuseppe De Luca [Debut]
Rosina..................Frieda Hempel
Count Almaviva..........Giacomo Damacco [Debut]
Dr. Bartolo.............Pompilio Malatesta [Debut]
Don Basilio.............Adamo Didur
Berta...................Marie Mattfeld
Fiorello................Vincenzo Reschiglian
Sergeant................Pietro Audisio

Conductor...............Gaetano Bavagnoli

Director................Jules Speck
Set Designer............Mario Sala

[In the Lesson Scene Hempel sang Arditi's Parla Waltz.]

Il Barbiere di Siviglia received seven performances this season.

Unsigned review in the Herald

MR. DE LUCA MAKES HIS DEBUT IN "THE BARBER OF SEVILLE" AND IMMEDIATELY PROVES HIS WORTH AS A SINGER AND ACTOR - OTHER NEW SINGERS ALSO WELCOMED

With the first appearance of three new artists last night's performance of Rossini's opera, Il Barbiere di Siviglia," at the Metropolitan assumed unusual interest, and the size of the audience proved that the offering of champagne set to music by Rossini was of more than ordinary interest, for in recent years the opera has lagged in its drawing power.

The most important of the newcomers was an Italian barytone, Giuseppe de Luca, who has won fame in other lands. He sang Figaro and won the audience with a single aria, his "Largo al factotum." After it there was a great burst of applause. He has the most agile barytone voice heard at the opera house in many years. It is beautiful in quality, The lower tones are full and round, the upper tones of almost tenor like clarity. His breath control is marvelous, for the sang the swirling aria at a tempo that took his hearer's breath, but left his own intact. As an actor he is remarkable, gesture and facial expression portraying the emotion in every phrase. Those who enjoy clearly sung Italian said his diction was unusual. His spirit seemed inexhaustible, for he sped up the performance whenever he was on the stage. Mr. De Luca in one of the acquisitions of the season.

Then there was a new Italian tenor, Giacomo Damacco, who was the Almaviva. He was so nervous that it would not be fair to comment upon his singing in the opening act, but later her recovered his composure and proved that he had a very high, but not "white," voice. His phrases well, but is a very light tenor for the Metropolitan company. He may prove his worth at later performances. The third of the debuts was Pompilio Malatesta's, a new Italian buffo, who sang Dr. Bartolo very well and who displayed qualities as a comedian that he kept the audience amused.

Chief among the familiar artists was Miss Hempel, who sang Rosina as she has never done in the past, with beauty of voice and clean work in the florid passages. Her aria, "Una Voce Poco Fa" was beautifully delivered. As Bartolo Mr. Didur did a notable bit of grotesque character acting, stamped with the personality of this fine artist. Mr. Bevagnoli conducted, and while he was not always at peace with the singers, he kept the performance lively. In fact, there was really a holiday spirit about the whole evening's performance. "The Barber of Seville" promises to be one of the drawing cards of the season./b>



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