[Met Performance] CID:70030
La Fille du Régiment {23} Metropolitan Opera House: 11/14/1918.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
November 14, 1918
In Italian (Translation: Calisto Bassi)


LA FILLE DU RÉGIMENT {23}
Donizetti-Bayard/Saint-Georges

Marie.......................Frieda Hempel
Tonio.......................Fernando Carpi
Marquise of Berkenfield.....Kathleen Howard
Sergeant Sulpice............Antonio Scotti
Hortentius..................Vincenzo Reschiglian
Duchesse of Krakentorp......Maria Savage
Peasant.....................Pietro Audisio
Corporal....................Louis D'Angelo
Notary......................Edward Alexander

Conductor...................Gennaro Papi

Director....................Richard Ordynski
Set designer................James Fox

Frieda Hempel repeated her encore in the Lesson Scene, "Keep the Home Fires Burning"

La Fille du Régiment received four performances this season.


Note: In the Lesson Scene Hempel sang "Deh torna mio bene" by Proch, followed by Novello's "Keep the Home Fires Burning." The Herald's reviewer wrote: "Responding to an encore, she sang 'Keep the Home Fires Burning.' The audience greeted the song with a veritable ovation of applause which did not subside until Mr. Papi started his musicians playing it a second time for a repetition by Miss Hempel."

Review of Max Smith in the American

'Daughter of Regiment' at the Metropolitan

Miss Frieda Hempel, the woman, may have had qualms last year when she kissed the flag of France on the stage of the Metropolitan and cried exultantly "Viva la France!" Last night, however, the Kaiser's former "Hofopernsangerin" had nothing to trouble her mind while impersonating the Daughter of the Regiment. A full-fledged American now, by virtue of her marriage, she could press her lips to and wave the tricolor with impunity, could even sing "Keep the Home Fires Burning" in the last act of "La Figlia del Regimmento," as an encore to the interpolated variations by Proch.

From a purely artistic point of view such an interpolation may not have been perfectly proper. But it pleased the crowd, of course, and stirred up no great a tumult of applause, that the American war song had to be repeated. After all, Donizetti's opera need not be handled with kid gloves. Yet Mme. Hempel went a little too far, perhaps, when she exclaimed in very audible English, flavored with a slight Teutonic accent, "Gee, that's fine!"

"La Fille du Regiment," in the Italian version, was one of last season's popular revivals, and it will furnish as agreeable an antidote to the blues this season, no doubt. Donizetti's melody and his prickling rhythms have not lost their charm, though the operatic habiliments in which they are clothed have become extremely old-fashioned and threadbare.

Vocally Mme. Hempel was not well disposed last night, particularly at the outset. Her high tones sounded somewhat hard and worn. That she acted her role with as much vivacity, grace, spirit and humor as in the past, and during the "rataplan" chorus plied the drum sticks with energy and skill. A genuine roll, however, she has not yet acquired.

As the bluff and hearty sergeant, Antonio Scotti, who seems to have discovered the elixir of youth, put to his benefit, once more, a capital character study. Decidedly his Sulpice was the most thoroughly artistic achievement of the evening, barring the incisive and buoyant singing of Giulio Setti's virtuoso choristers.

Signor Carpi's voice was heard to advantage in the music of Tonio. Kathleen Howard made an amusing Marquise. Reschiglian as Hortensius, D'Angelo as the Corporal, Audisio as the Peasant, Alexander as the Secretary and Maria Savage as the Duchesse completed the cast.

Praise is due to Maestro Papi for his spirited and effervescent rendering of the score.



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