[Met Performance] CID:6750
Les Huguenots {9} Metropolitan Opera House: 11/28/1888.

(Opening Night {6}
Edmund C. Stanton, General Manager

Debut: Alma Föhström, Julius Perotti, Fanny Moran-Olden, Alois Grienauer, Félice Kaschowska, Ludwig Mödlinger, Albert Mittelhauser, Wilhelm Sedlmayer, Hedwig Reil, Eugene Weiss, Etiènne Vergé
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
November 28, 1888
Opening Night {6}

Edmund C. Stanton, Director of the Opera


In German

LES HUGUENOTS {9}
Meyerbeer--Scribe/Deschamps

Marguerite de Valois....Alma Föhström [Debut]
Raoul de Nangis.........Julius Perotti [Debut]
Valentine...............Fanny Moran-Olden [Debut]
Count de Nevers.........Alois Grienauer [Debut]
Urbain..................Félicie Kaschowska [Debut]
Count de Saint Bris.....Ludwig Mödlinger [Debut]
Marcel..................Emil Fischer
Tavannes................Albert Mittelhauser [Debut]
Cossé...................Wilhelm Sedlmayer [Debut]
Méru....................Jean Doré
Lady of Honor...........Hedwig Reil [Debut]
Bois-Rosé...............Albert Mittelhauser
Maurevert...............Eugene Weiss [Debut]
Watchman................Jean Doré
Dance...................Etiènne Vergé [Debut]
Dance...................Miss Louie
Dance...................Josefine Ambroggio

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

Director................Theodore Habelmann
Costume Designer........D. Ascoli
Costume Designer........Henry Dazian

[Hedwig Reil was sometimes listed in company programs as Reil-Essigke.]

Les Huguenots received five performances in German this season.


Review in The New York Times:

METROPOLITAN OPERA HOUSE

The season of grand opera in German at the Metropolitan Opera Home was begun last evening with a performance of Meyerbeer's "Huguenots," Indications of a wide and deep public interest in the event were not lacking. One of the largest and most brilliant audiences that has ever gathered in the building was assembled. There were two or three stockholders' boxes empty, but it was known that sickness or mourning prevented their occupants from being present. All the other boxes were filled with those who tell not, neither do they spin, but who eclipse the proverbial Solomon in all his glory in their costumes. The other parts of the house were completely crowded with a mass of people who not only filled every seat, but packed all the available standing room. These people were bent on hearing the new singers who made themselves known last night, and they showed their Wagnerian training in the art of listening to opera by promptly hissing down some unusually loud conversation during a flute solo, which was applauded warmly. A performance of Meyerbeer's masterpiece does not call for much comment on the nature of the music. The work is as familiar as anything in the well-worn répertoire of the Italian stage can be, and its merits and defects have been decided upon pretty thoroughly. While there is a great deal of musical rubbish in "Les Huguenots," there is not a little that is dramatic in spirit and original in thematic ideas. It is certainly an opera in which the vocal powers of a company may be put to the test, and it was doubtless chosen to be the initial work of the season for the purpose of showing the public what the newcomers could do. Only one of the old familiar faces was seen last night - that of Herr Emil Fischer, who received a warm and long-continued welcome on his first entrance. The other singers were greeted with that courtesy common to American audiences, who are always willing to advance a little applause on credit, even if the account has to be closed after the first number. Of the vocalists who were made known last night the most valuable acquisition is undoubtedly Herr Julius Perotti, tenor. He is a man of tall, well- proportioned figure, pleasant countenance, and manly bearing. His voice is a true tenor, somewhat heavier in the lower register than the ordinary tenor of the Italian stage, but of large volume, good compass and agreeable quality. His upper notes, which he had ample opportunity to exhibit in the role of Raoul are full, mellow, and strong, and he appeared to be able to produce a good B without unpleasant effort. His method is Italian, and his delivery is at times marred by an excessive use of the vibrato. At other times his vocalization is indistinct, and last night he made no use of those pretty mezzo voce effects which make lovers of Italian opera happy and Germanists miserable. He sang his declamatory passages, however, with ringing tones and an abundance of spirit. He displayed no especially fine qualities as an actor, but he did not offend by over-demonstrativeness nor ungracefulness. Altogether he made an agreeable impression and will doubtless prove to be a very useful singer. The audience treated him with much kindness and bestowed upon him a liberal amount of hearty applause. Frau Moran-Olden was the Valentine. This lady possesses an extraordinarily powerful and rich soprano voice of good compass and of fairly even quality throughout, the highest notes alone being a trifle thin and strident. Her attack was extremely uncertain and she employed the portamento effect to such degree that it frequently carried her considerably away from the pitch. She sang with great earnestness, and when the opportunity was offered revealed no small facility and certainty in the execution of ornamental passages. Fräulein Felice Koschoska another new-comer, was the Urban. She revealed a light soprano voice of very pleasant quality and a very good style of vocalization. Her singing of the aria known in the Italian version as "Nobil Signor," was one of the most finished pieces of singing in the evening's performance. Our old acquaintance of the consulship of Mapleson, Alma Föhström, was the Marguerite de Valois. Her singing will be well remembered by frequenters of the Academy when it was of music in fact as well as in name. She sings with the same merits and the same detects as of yore, and it cannot be justly said that she is a valuable acquisition to the Opera House. Herr Alois Grinauer, a new baritone, appeared as the Count de Nevers. This gentleman's voice has evidently outlived the most brilliant period of its usefulness. It is dry and without resonance and, especially in its upper register is cloudy and uncertain. He sang with very little spirit and acted with still less, and it can only be said of him that unless he reveals himself in a more favorable light in the future he has a very small prospect of becoming a favorite in New York. Herr Ludwig Mödlinger, the St. Bris, did not greatly distinguish himself. His voice is of tolerably good quality, but his intonation last evening was very inaccurate and his delivery devoid of dramatic force. Herr Fischer was not in the best of voice, but he sang the music of Marcel with his customary artistic method and convincing sincerity, while he acted the part with his unfailing earnestness and good judgment. The chorus was large and sonorous, but it was afflicted with that unhappy tendency to depart from the key which will overcome choruses at times in the best regulated opera houses. The ballet led by Mlle. Etienne Vergé, was exhibited and proved to be all that the veterans of the front rows could desire in numbers, shapeliness, and agility. The opera was mounted well, the costumes being exceedingly showy and effective. The scenery was good and the details of the stage setting and properties displayed the customary generosity of the house. The orchestra was admirable in every respect, and Herr Anton Seidl conducted with a conscientious care that might not have been expected from so faithful a follower of Wagner. To-morrow evening "Lohengrin" will be performed. Some more new singers will appear, together with Herr Alvary as the knight, and Mr. Walter Damrosch will conduct.



Photograph of Julius Perotti by Falk.
Photograph of Etiènne Vergé, possibly in Les Huguenots, by Falk.



Added Index Entries for Subjects and Names


Back to short citation(s).