[Met Performance] CID:70570
Martha {61} Metropolitan Opera House: 12/30/1918.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 30, 1918
In Italian


MARTHA {61}

Lady Harriet............Frieda Hempel
Lionel..................Enrico Caruso
Nancy...................Louise Homer
Plunkett................Adamo Didur
Sir Tristram............Pompilio Malatesta
Sheriff.................Mario Laurenti
Maid....................Lavinia Puglioli
Maid....................Nazzarena Malaspina
Maid....................Louise Tozier
Servant.................Vincenzo Reschiglian

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

Review (unsigned) in the Herald

'Martha' Sung to Crowded House at the Metropolitan

Carefully bandaged and plastered beneath his costume Enrico Caruso, who has almost recovered from his recent accident, capered about with rather less agility than usual as Lionel in Flotow's merry and melodious opera "Martha" at the Metropolitan last night, but what the part lacked in customary vivacity, though Mr. Caruso cannot be a sentimental lover, was made up for by uncommonly beautiful singing, and the great house listened enraptured to the melodious warblings and sometimes the clarion notes of the popular favorite.

He sang the great aria "M'appari" with more than usual beauty of tone, but his phrasing was not quite orthodox and passages which once were uninterrupted by a breath were broken here and there, although so artistically as to be scarcely noticeable. In the concerted numbers, especially with Mme. Frieda Hempel, he modulated his tones beautifully, and blended with his partner in a sweet concord of sound.

There is no part in Mme. Hempel's repertory which she sings quite so exquisitely as the flirtatious lady of title who stoops to conquer. She was in perfect voice and sang the old balled "The Last Rose of Summer," so cleverly introduced by Flotow, with more than customary charm. Mme. Homer proved a capital foil to her merry young friend, and in her scene with Plunkett - acted with stolidity, but sung with effect by Adamo Didur - she was almost as vivacious as Lady Harriett herself.

The rest of the cast sang and acted as if they thoroughly enjoyed themselves and infected the audience with their own high spirits and thus an unusually cheerful performance was the result. Artur Bodanzky had an easy task in the conductor's seat, but his admirable judgment largely helped to achieve a pronounced musical success.



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