[Met Performance] CID:70610
Cavalleria Rusticana {183}

Pagliacci {190}
Metropolitan Opera House: 01/2/1919.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 2, 1919


CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA {183}

Santuzza................Florence Easton
Turiddu.................Paul Althouse
Lola....................Flora Perini
Alfio...................Thomas Chalmers
Mamma Lucia.............Marie Mattfeld

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


PAGLIACCI {190}

Nedda...................Claudia Muzio
Canio...................Morgan Kingston
Tonio...................Giuseppe De Luca
Silvio..................Vincenzo Reschiglian
Beppe...................Pietro Audisio

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

Review of Reginald de Koven in the Herald

Miss Galli's Indisposition Causes Substitution of Leoncavallo Opera at the Metropolitan for That of Rimsky-Korsakoff

A legend was displayed at the entrance of the Metropolitan last night to the effect that owing to the illness of Miss Rosina Galli, Leoncavallo's opera "I Pagliacci" would be substituted for "Le Coq d'Or," by Rimsky-Korsakoff, as announced. A singular occurrence, surely, that because of the illness, for whatever cause, of a prima ballerina an opera could not be sung and an audience primed with expectation of a really interesting modern work, even with "Cavalleria Rusticana" tagged on, should be held in disappointment at the very inferior substitute of the now distinctly time-worn "Pagliacci." Surely there was something more here than met the eye.

The audience having paid the regular price of admission for a performance presumably worth it, were confronted with an operatic show worth about three dollars, and there was no question so far as I heard of any money being returned at the box office, because of any failure on the part of management to live up to their just engagements. Why should these things be if the public who supports the Metropolitan is worthy of any consideration whatever?

At the price named above the performance was excellent. It is rare that one can justly call the Metropolitan management to account in the matter of scenic equipment, but certainly the "Cavalleria" scene, never very good, is now, after several years of arduous service, really very bad; and that of "Pagliacci" but little better. After the "Oberon" scenery this struck one forcibly.

On the whole it was a night of American singers. I found Mr. Althouse a very effective Turiddu indeed; singing with ringing dramatic tone and playing with both force and effect in a makeup not too characteristic. Miss Easton was a trifle shrill as Santuzza and yet was fairly convincing in the rôle. Chalmers was to me a rather surprisingly mild-mannered Alfio, and, truth to tell, the performance as a whole was hardly up to Metropolitan standards, though chorus and orchestra were entirely efficient.

The performance of "Pagliacci," on the other hand, I found rather unexpectedly effective. I have seldom heard the famous "Prologue" better sung that it was by Mr. De Luca; Miss Muzio was sprightly and vocally admirable as Nedda - a pity that her lower medium register is so lusterless; Laurenti was a more than usually capable Silvio, and I thought that Morgan Kingston, if at times a little tempted to wander from the pitch, was a really effective and forcible Canio. The solo at the end of the first act was given with real dramatic fervor.

One cannot, of course, hold any management responsible for artistic misadventure, but I really think the audience had a good right to feel aggrieved and put upon by the substitution of "Pagliacci" - however creditably sung - for "Le Coq d'Or," which I certainly hope to hear when Miss Galli is quite recovered. But are there no such things as capable understudies at the Metropolitan?



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