[Met Performance] CID:6780
Guillaume Tell [William Tell] {5} Metropolitan Opera House: 12/3/1888.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 3, 1888
In German


GUILLAUME TELL [WILLIAM TELL] {5}
Rossini-Jouy/Bis/Marrast

Guillaume Tell.............Adolf Robinson
Mathilde................Alma Föhström
Arnold..................Julius Perotti
Walter..................Emil Fischer
Gesler..................Ludwig Mödlinger
Melcthal................Joseph Beck
Hedwige.................Hedwig Reil
Jemmy...................Félicie Kaschowska
Fisherman...............Max Alvary
Leuthold................Alois Grienauer
Rodolphe................Albert Mittelhauser
Dance...................Etiènne Vergé
Dance...................Miss Louie
Dance...................Josefine Ambroggio

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

Director................Theodore Habelmann

William Tell received three performances in German this season.

Unsigned review in The New York Times

ITALIAN OPERA IN GERMAN.

Rossini's masterpiece, "William Tell," which is a French opera written for the Paris stage by an Italian and which is one of the features of the repertory of every well-equipped Italian opera company, was sung in German at the Metropolitan Opera House last evening. There did not appear to be any remarkable amount of excitement over this revival of the best work of the Swan of Pesaro. Indeed, it seemed as if the public generally realized the fact that the German singers would be more at home in music written for them than in that contrived with an especial view to a display of the immortal art of bet canto. Rossini's biographers usually point with pride to the fact that, after having committed probably more sins against honest dramatic art than any other operatic composer up to his time, he shook the dust of tradition off his feet and wrote a work with a serious artistic purpose. There is no doubt that this is true, and it is the reason why "William Tell" can be sung by German singers before an audience largely composed of German enthusiasts. Perhaps this large Teutonic element in the audience was the cause of the indiscriminate enthusiasm which greeted every number of the evening. These people, realizing the difficulties the German vocalists had to contend with in singing Rossini's music, with a multitude of phrases constructed for the purpose of displaying brilliant Italian voices and polished Italian vocalization, applauded them all the more warmly in that they accomplished so much with it. This particular phase of enthusiasm, however, could not have caused the remarkable applause for the overture, which Herr Seidl took at a tempo which indicated fully how anxious he was to reach the conclusion of an uncongenial task. The performance of the opera was, on the whole, better than one could have reasonably expected. The chief success of the evening was that of Herr Perotti. He blossomed forth as a tenor of the kind in which the dear public usually takes great joy. He sang an abundance of high notes and did not neglect the famous C sharp, which a few phenomenal tenors have introduced in the rôle of Arnold. It must be said that Herr Perottl gave this note with tremendous power and splendid quality, as he also did a number or other notes in his upper register. He has an uncommonly strong voice, and if he had some control of mezza voce effects, he might do some much more artistic work. He sang with an abundance of spirit last evening and was kept busy stopping the progress of the opera while he bowed his thanks for applause in the true Italian style. His labors were admirably seconded in the famous trio by Herren Robinson and Fischer, both of whom were in good voice, and who sang well. The trio went excellently, and it would be safe to say that it is years since it has been so well sung in this city. Herr Robinson's performance of Tell was earnest and energetic, and he sang well, with the exception of his tendency to frequent explosiveness. Herr Fischer did yeoman's work in the small part of Walter. Fräulein Föhström was the Mathilde of the evening, and was somewhat weak in tonal volume to sing beside Perotti. Fräulein Kashowska sang the music of Jemmy very well, but her acting was uncomfortably awkward. If this young lady were taken in hand by a good stage manager, her prospects on the operatic stage would be much brighter. Herr Alvary sang the Fisherman's music creditably. Herr Grinauer was satisfactory as Leuthold, and Herr Beck sang tolerably as Melcthal. The chorus and ballet were both satisfactory.



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