[Met Performance] CID:70200
Aida {237} Metropolitan Opera House: 11/29/1918.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
November 29, 1918


AIDA {237}
Giuseppe Verdi--Antonio Ghislanzoni

Aida....................Claudia Muzio
Radamès.................Giulio Crimi
Amneris.................Louise Homer
Amonasro................Luigi Montesanto
Ramfis..................José Mardones
King....................Louis D'Angelo
Messenger...............Pietro Audisio
Priestess...............Marie Sundelius
Dance...................Queenie Smith

Conductor...............Roberto Moranzoni

Review of Max Smith in the American
\
'Aida' Attracts Large Audience at the Metropolitan

Presented for the second time this season last night in the Metropolitan Opera House, "Aida" attracted a large audience although the name of the one and only Caruso did not figure in the cast. Since the Wagnerian drama fell under the ban, which every sensible music lover hopes will be lifted before long, the works in Giulio Gatti-Casazza's repertory that can stand on their own feet are exceedingly few. Verdi's "Aida" is one of those few. We all know that no matter how poorly it is sung, the music will somehow survive the ordeal. That is why most of us are willing to take chances. There was considerable singing of an inferior quality last night. But again the great Italian composer emerged triumphantly, little the worse for wear, despite the mawing some of his immortal melodies had received.

The chief offenders were Luigi Montesanto, the new Italian baritone, whose wobbly emission of dry and hollow sounds almost made a travesty of the part of Amonasro, and Claudia Muzio, who dropped far behind her former vocal achievements in the title role.
It is to be hoped that Miss Muzio's shortcomings were due to temporary indisposition. One noted with regret the jerky, spasmodic manner of her utterance, the unsteadiness of her voice under pressure, and the penetrating stridency which her tone production assumed in lofty altitudes. Happily, Miss Muzio's portrayal had compensating features. The statuesque beauty of her figure, the noble outlines of her face, and the dramatic fervor which she brought to her impersonation, did not fail to make an impression.

Giulio Crimi's voice - so exceptionally warm and appealing in timbre - was heard to advantage in the music of Radames, especially in the Nile scene, but not to so great advantage as one might expect from one with whom nature has dealt so generously.

The real "star" of the evening - indeed the only principal in the cast, with the plausible exception of José Mardones (the Ramphis), who quite lived up to the high standards of the past, was Louise Homer, the role of Amneris, so closely identified with her for many years. Miss Homer not only sang with a proper regard for the rules of bel canto and requirements of good taste. She was a pillar of strength in a very weak ensemble. Good singing also was provided by Marie Sundelius in the small part of the Priestess, and by Giulio Setti's chorus. The cast included Pietro Audasio as the Messenger. Roberto Moranzoi conducted.



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