[Met Performance] CID:70190
La Forza del Destino {2} Metropolitan Opera House: 11/28/1918.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
November 28, 1918


LA FORZA DEL DESTINO {2}
Giuseppe Verdi--Francesco Maria Piave

Leonora.................Rosa Ponselle
Don Alvaro..............Enrico Caruso
Don Carlo...............Giuseppe De Luca
Padre Guardiano.........Josť Mardones
Preziosilla.............Alice Gentle
Fra Melitone............Thomas Chalmers
Marquis de Calatrava....Giulio Rossi
Curra...................Marie Mattfeld
Mayor...................Paolo Ananian
Trabuco.................Giordano Paltrinieri
Surgeon.................Vincenzo Reschiglian
Dance...................Giuseppe Bonfiglio

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

Review of Max Smith in the American:

Another hearing of Rosa Ponselle as Leonora in "La Forza del Destino" tended to encourage the belief that this young woman, whose star rose so suddenly from the horizon of vaudeville into the operatic firmament, is in reality a mezzo-soprano with voice artificially elevated to an altitude somewhat above its normal range.

Nature has provided her with excellent material. But despite the power and expansiveness of her vocal organ the strain of sustaining a high tessitura is distinctly to be observed in her emission. Her high tones, which she frequently approaches with a scoop, become pinched when she attempts to reduce them to a mezzo-voce, and in full-throated utterance they often assume a hardness of timbre very different from the mellow vibrancy of her low tones. They are inclined, moreover, under pressure, to overtop the correct pitch.

Taking everything into consideration, Mr, Gatti-Casazza's new prima donna sang surprisingly well last night. One marveled again at her poise and assurance. But her singing in such an exacting aria, for example, as the "Madre, Pietosa Vergine" - can hardly be described as finished. It was potent, it was persuasive; it had the vigor and the strength of youth. But it had crudities that not every one in the auditorium could overlook

A singer who made a far more favorable impression than at the premiere was Alice Gentle, the Preziosilla. Her voice still lacked firmness. But it had body and resonance. Evidently Mme. Gentle was in better form than before. She not only acted with vivacity, but sang with charm.



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