[Met Performance] CID:61840
La Bohème {142} Metropolitan Opera House, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 01/25/1916.

(Review)


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
January 25, 1916


LA BOHÈME {142}

Mimì....................Frances Alda
Rodolfo.................Enrico Caruso
Musetta.................Ida Cajatti
Marcello................Antonio Scotti
Schaunard...............Riccardo Tegani
Colline.................Andrés De Segurola
Benoit..................Pompilio Malatesta
Alcindoro...............Robert Leonhardt
Parpignol...............Pietro Audisio
Sergeant................Vincenzo Reschiglian

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

Unsigned review from unknown Philadelphia newspaper

BOHÈME, WITH CARUSO CROWDS OPERA HOUSE

Audience Biggest Since Ruffo and Melba Sang in 'Rigoletto'

INSPIRES THE ARTISTS

Ida Cajatti as Musetta, Makes Her First Appearance Here

Puccini's "La Bohème" with Caruso as Rodolfo last night attracted to the Metropolitan Opera House the largest audience since the memorable occasion three seasons ago when Titta Ruffo and Melba made their joint appearance in "Rigoletto." Standees were five deep in both the parquet and the balcony, and the crowds in the gallery, even before the curtain was raised, became so great that Manager Alfred Hoegerle closed the ticket offices with the announcement that the fire regulations would not allow him to admit another person to the auditorium.

The crowded promenades and the repeated salvos of applause which greeted the singers recalled the scenes of the local premier of "The Girl of the Golden West," now five seasons past. Those who knew Philadelphia in the heyday of its operatic life went still further back and compared last night with Oscar Hammerstein's production of Strauss's "Salome."

Such comparisons are really more apt than those of later date, for the humor of last night's audience, despite the fact that it was largely attracted by the magic name of Caruso, showed greater concern with Puccini's highly colored tale of the irresponsible life of the Latin Quarter than with an individual singer in the cast. Evidently the diet of old Italian and later German opera which the New York Company has provided for Philadelphia this season sharpened the appetite for Puccini.

From the first curtain, Caruso, Frances Alda, and the other principals, seemed to catch the spirit of the dark line of standees at the back of the auditorium and presented the work with vigor and zest. For the second time this season Caruso loosed his golden tenor. None would have thought of seeing Antonio Scotti seize Ida Cajatti, the Musetta, and set her on the table in the Cafe Mamas, on his fiftieth birthday. This was Cajatti's first appearance here and the audience justly refused to become over-zealous at her work. It may improve with greater familiarity with the local auditorium. Gaetano Bavagnoli conducted.



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