[Met Performance] CID:70160
L'Elisir d'Amore {28} Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 11/26/1918.


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
November 26, 1918


Adina...................Frieda Hempel
Nemorino................Enrico Caruso
Belcore.................Giuseppe De Luca
Dr. Dulcamara...........Adamo Didur
Giannetta...............Lenora Sparkes

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

Review (unsigned) in the Philadelphia Inquirer


Donizetti's Tuneful Old Opera Sung With Caruso and Hempel

Donizetti's tuneful old opera of "L'Elisir d'amore" was the programme which, as presented by the New York Metropolitan Company with Caruso and Frieda Hempel in the cast, attracted a large audience to the Broad and Poplar street house last evening. Although obsolete in form and very tenuous in substance, this old-fashioned opera is still enjoyable, by reason the charming melodies with which its score is enriched, but it is too antiquated to have any real importance and it certainly should not have been revived had it not been for the tenor and soprano opportunities which it affords. It has not been done in this city since it was given at the Academy of Music on February 23, 1904, with a cast comprising Marcella Sembrich, Isabelle Bouton, Franz Naval, Antonio Scotti and Giulio Rossi and no one could truthfully aver that it has been missed.

Its tunefulness is its only merit and it is constructed on so small a scale as to render its presentation in as large an auditorium as that of the Metropolitan inappropriate. But every one knows that it was brought out for the sole and single purpose of affording the public a chance to hear Caruso sing the "Una furtive largrima" and the other mellifluous numbers in which the love-stricken Nemorino expresses his agitated feelings and, beyond that, no further excuse of its selection to the one and only tenor's army of admirers be considered necessary. Under these circumstances there is little or no occasion for any extended comment of a critical character. Let it be enough to record that Caruso did not disappoint the expectations which the announcement of his appearance had aroused, that he was in good voice and that the consummate art of his vocalization was once again impressively exemplified.

Miss Frieda Hempel was the Adina, and a better one than she proved to be was needless to desire. The sparkling music of the role is admirably suited to her light, bright voice with its ample range and extreme flexibility, and Adina's various numbers were delivered with a beauty of tone, an animation of spirit and a brilliance of execution which invested them with all their value and communicated their full significance. On its dramatic side her impersonation was not less praiseworthy and pleasing, and altogether her contribution to the evening's entertainment was of scarcely less importance to those who could duly appreciate its worth than that of Caruso himself.

Others in the cast were Miss Leonora Sparkes, who was an amusing Gianetta, and Giuseppe de Luca, who showed himself to be as good a comedian as he is a singer by his vital and vigorous embodiment of Sergeant Belcore. The role of Dulcamara, the quack doctor whose love potions were to have worked such wonders, was in the capable hands of Adamo Didur, who made the most of the humorous opportunities which it provides. Gennaro Papi was the conductor and he kept things moving in a manner that deserves a word of praise.

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