[Met Performance] CID:79680
Metropolitan Opera Premiere
Le Roi d'Ys {1} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/5/1922.
 (Metropolitan Opera Premiere)

Metropolitan Opera House
January 5, 1922
Metropolitan Opera Premiere

É. Lalo-É. Blau

King....................Léon Rothier
Margared................Rosa Ponselle
Mylio...................Beniamino Gigli
Rozenn..................Frances Alda
Karnac..................Giuseppe Danise
Jahel...................Millo Picco
St. Corentin............Paolo Ananian

Conductor...............Albert Wolff

Director................Samuel Thewman
Set designer............Joseph Urban
Costume designer........Gretel Urban
Choreographer...........Ottokar Bartik

Le Roi d'Ys received six performances this season.

[The Overture was performed before Act II.]

Review of Oscar Thompson in Musical America:

Miss Ponselle was melodramatically effective in the part, to which she brought more of physical violence than was necessary to its delineation. Vocally, it might better had it been entrusted to a contralto. She sang many phrases of it with big and luscious tone, but one wished, with her, for a few more phrases above the staff and not so many that called upon her lowest tones.

The Rozenn of Mme. Alda was of a winsome simplicity and lovely to look upon. Vocally, however, she was not entirely herself. There were deviations from pitch and much fluttering of tone in all but her highest notes. Even these had something less than their customary chiming beauty.

The best singing of the evening undoubtedly was that of Mr. Gigli. Even Edmond Clement could scarcely have improved on his mezzo-voce delivery of the "Aubade." Many other phrases during the opera were charged with the highest lyric beauty, and his vocalism had no small measure of refinement. Less can be said of his acting.

Mylio was as wooden in movement and pose as he was serious and distant of mien. Mr. Danise's Karñac was sufficiently savage to look upon, and he used his resonant voice with stimulating effect. He can improve, however, his picture of the weary and defeated warrior in the scene at the tomb. Why not put a dent or two in his shining armor or a rent in his purple hose? His entrance on the very heels of Mylio's departing warriors makes one wonder how he escapes capture. A momentary delay here would cause him no difficulties with his music and would improve the action.

Leon Rothier, regally arrayed, was an imposing figure as the relatively unimportant king after whom the opera is named. Millo Picco cared for the small role of the herald, Jahel.

Chorus and Orchestra Delight

The chorus sang somewhat better at the dress rehearsal than at the performance; but in spite of some lapses of pitch and moments that suggested confusion, Giulio Setti's choristers again justified his pride in them. Albert Wolff conducted as one who not only knows his score, but also believes in every bar of it. The Overture was played with a finish and warmth that fully justified the exceedingly hearty applause it received. The conductor was called before the curtain repeatedly with the principal singers.

The five scenic sets are among the best Joseph Urban has done for the Metropolitan, but the one for the final scene not only leaves the advance of the sea entirely to the imagination but also suggests a cave rather than a height. The first picture, showing the King's Palace, and the fourth, the Castle Court, leading to the Charnel, are particularly good examples of scenic art, with the Urban massiveness and the Urban mastery of masonry and trees. The costumes, too, are beautiful to look upon, and save for some crowding, and a few details of lighting, the first performance was a spectacle altogether to be admired.

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