[Met Performance] CID:68010
New production
Le Prophète {52} Metropolitan Opera House: 02/7/1918.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
February 7, 1918
New production


LE PROPHÈTE {52}
Meyerbeer-Scribe

Jean of Leyden..........Enrico Caruso
Berthe..................Claudia Muzio
Fidès...................Margarete Matzenauer
Zacharie................José Mardones
Jonas...................Max Bloch
Mathisen................Carl Schlegel
Count Oberthal..........Adamo Didur
Peasant.................Vincenzo Reschiglian
Anabaptist..............Louis D'Angelo
Officer.................Pietro Audisio
Captain.................Basil Ruysdael
Choirboy................Minnie Egener
Choirboy................Cecil Arden
Choirboy................Marie Tiffany
Choirboy................Veni Warwick
Dance...................Rosina Galli
Dance...................Giuseppe Bonfiglio

Conductor...............Artur Bodanzky

Director................Richard Ordynski
Designer................Joseph Urban

Le Prophète received six performances this season.


Review of Sylvester Rawling in the Evening World

"LE PROPHETE' REVIVED SUMPTUOUSLY AT THE METROPOLITAN

Mr. Gatti-Casazza at the Metropolitan Opera House last night presented a splendid revival of "Le Prophete." Nothing so sumptuous, dignified and tasteful as this production has been seen upon the operatic stage for many years. Superbly set, admirably cast, beautifully sung, Meyerbeer's old opera takes on a new lease of life. That Mr. Gatti, modest though he is, was not called before the curtain to receive his justly earned mead of praise, is something of a reflection upon our good manners.

In Mr. Hammerstein's experimental season of educational opera at the Manhattan Opera House some years ago which, by the by, cost him $48,000, he presented "Le Prophete." Also in Mr. Conried's counselship at the Metropolitan with Alvarez as the protagonist, we heard it. But most of us merely hark back to a further time when Jean de Reszke was John of Leyden. Now we have Enrico Caruso in the part. No need to make comparisons. Great artists both! But Mr. Caruso never has done anything better than this. It was the first time that he had sung the part. No greater tribute to his artistry can be paid than to say that he excelled himself. Some of the multitude of his admireres will acclaim him more in other parts. Not so the thoughtful. In Jean of Leyden Mr. Caruso reveals himself a thinker, a student, something more than the possessor of a tenor voice the like of which none of us has heard, or ever will hear.

Margarete Matzenauer was Jean's mother, Fides. She gave the character adequate, nay, more eloquent expression. Her singing of "Ah! Mon Fils" will rank with that of Schumann-Heink's, who was Fides with both Jean de Reszke and Alvarez. Claudia Muzio was a lovely Bertha, singing with inspiration and acting convincingly. From the imposing cast may be singled out Jose Mardones as Zacharia, of the three leading Anabaptists, who accomplished the revolution and crowned Jean in the Cathedral of Munster. Adamo Didur as Count Oberthal, not at his best, and Basil Ruysdael, a Captain. Besides, there were Max Bloch, Carl Schlegel, Louis d'Angelo, Pietro Audisio, Vincenzo Reschliglian, Minnie Eggener, Cecil Arden, Marie Tiffany and Veni Warwick who deserve mention, Then there was Mr. Bodanzky, who conducted. Many fine performances of operas have owed much to him since he has been with us. None, perhaps, more than this. He, as well as Mr. Gatti, should have been called before the curtain to receive tribute.

As a spectacle "Le Prophete" is worth seeing. The coronation scene is stunning in setting, imposing in performance, impressive in singing. The skating ballet was well done. Rosina Galli never has danced with more freedom and grace and charm, and Giuseppe Bonfiglio never has kept her better company. There was only one failure in the scenic effect. The explosion of sulfur which engulfed Jean, his friends and his enemies in the final catastrophe came a minute too late. The curtains had closed before the detonation was heard, although the banquet hall was wrecked and, presumably, everybody was killed. Can't you picture, perhaps you can't, but I can - the range of Edward Seidle, the Technical Director Selah!

White Studio photograph of Enrico Caruso as John of Leyden
in the Coronation Scene of Le Prophète.



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