[Met Performance] CID:7160
Il Trovatore {8} Metropolitan Opera House: 02/6/1889.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
February 6, 1889
In German


IL TROVATORE {8}
Giuseppe Verdi--Salvatore Cammarano

Manrico.................Julius Perotti
Leonora.................Marie Schröder-Hanfstängl
Count Di Luna...........Alois Grienauer
Azucena.................Fanny Moran-Olden
Ferrando................Karl Mühe
Ines....................Emmy Miron
Ruiz....................Martin Paché
Messenger...............William Cook
Gypsy...................Jean Doré
Dance...................Etiènne Vergé
Dance...................Miss Louie
Dance...................Josefine Ambroggio

Conductor...............Walter Damrosch
Director................Theodore Habelmann
Set Designer............Charles Fox, Jr.
Set Designer............William Schaeffer
Set Designer............Gaspar Maeder
Set Designer............Mr. Thompson

Costume Designer........D. Ascoli
Costume Designer........Henry Dazian

Il Trovatore received five performances in German this season. Unsigned review in The New York Times

METROPOLITAN OPERA HOUSE.

We are not often given, in this age of progress, to going back into the past for the purpose of seeing how much we have gone ahead; yet it was impossible to avoid doing so this last evening at the Metropolitan Opera House, when a very good performance of "Il Trovatore" was given in German. The house was filled, and there was every reason to expect something like the old-time enthusiasm which every prolongation of a high tone used to produce in this work. But somehow, to use Berlioz's expression, the occasion would not "foam up." There was plenty of applause, but it was generally earned by pretty honest singing.

The fact is that the taste of the public at the present time demands in the first place a dramatic libretto and not a cheap Bowery melodrama for the basis of an opera, and in the second place it calls for a closer union between the text and the music than is to be found in operas written in Italy between the death of Monteverdi and the composition of "Aida." The maestro Verdi proved his claims to intellectual leadership when he had the wisdom to perceive that the days of meretricious writing for mere vocal display were over, and to join hands with Wagner in the search for true dramatic expression in music. "Il Trovatore" belongs so the past; not because it is Italian opera but because it is bad opera, founded on principles opposed to the true development of the lyric drama. "Aida" and "Otello," by the same composer, belong to the present and point to the future because they are constructed on a logical basis, without which the opera is a false and indefensible monstrosity, with no claims to consideration as a true art form.

The cast last evening included Herr Perotti as Manrico, Herr Grinauer as the Count de Luna, Frau Schroeder-Hanfstängl as Leonora, and Fran Moran-Olden as Azucena. Those who have beard Perotti during this season need not he told that he was at home in Manrico. His high notes were all treated with abundant vigor, and his high C In the declamatory aria known as "Di quella Pira" was all that fancy painted it. The enthusiasm that followed this note was of the customary sort.

Frau Moran-Olden's Azucena was replete with dramatic intensity. She played the part and sang it as conscientiously as possible and won much applause. Frau Schroeder-Hanfstängl sang Leonora excellently. Herr Grimmer was not at home as the Count, for his vocal accomplishments are limited.

Mr. Walter Damrosch conducted and astonished those familiar with the traditions of the Italian stage by taking the tempo of the anvil chorus at a breakneck speed. The chorus was tolerable, and a picturesque ballet was introduced in the camp scene of the third act. The opera will be repeated at the matinée on Saturday.



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