[Met Performance] CID:82770
Cosė Fan Tutte {5} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/10/1923.


Metropolitan Opera House
January 10, 1923

Mozart-Da Ponte

Fiordiligi..............Florence Easton
Ferrando................George Meader
Dorabella...............Frances Peralta
Guglielmo...............Giuseppe De Luca
Despina.................Lucrezia Bori
Don Alfonso.............Adamo Didur

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

Director................Samuel Thewman
Set designer............Joseph Urban
Costume designer........Gretel Urban

Cosė Fan Tutte received three performances this season.

Review of Oscar Thompson in Musical America

Mozart's 'Cosi Fan Tutte' Brings Refreshing Comedy to Week of Opera at the Metropolitan

Merry Old Work Given with Same Cast as Last Season

The season's first "Cosi fan Tutte," with the same cast as at the four performances last year, and a representation of "Die Waküre" in which Paul Bender assumed the part of Wotan for the first time in New York, were of lively interest in the week of opera at the Metropolitan. Repetitions of "Loreley," "Ernani," "Thais," "Manon" and "Tosca," the last of these given as a benefit at a special matinee on Tuesday, otherwise occupied the opera forces and their audiences.

There are musical epicures who would gladly barter away all the "Toscas" and "Thaises" of the season for a fleeting moment of the Mozart score, such as the rapturous trio which closes the scene of the lovers' parting, the gladsome prancing of the bassoon in the farcical poisoning episode, or the heavenly quartet of the wedding feast in the final picture. The stroke of genius in stagecraft by which the illusion of intimacy has been obtained - granting that it is only an illusion - compels fresh admiration with each new experience, and there can be no questioning that much of the success of the Mozart work at the Metropolitan is due to the idea of the stage within the stage and the exquisite miniature settings which Joseph Urban has provided for his rococo frame.

Sung as the opera was sung last Wednesday evening and conducted as Mr. Bodanzky conducted it there is nothing which holds higher the artistic standards of the Metropolitan than "Cosi fan Tutte." Those who heard last season's representations may have noted some details wherein the performance under review was not quite so smoothly achieved; nothing surprising, since it is unlikely that any such strenuous rehearsals have been in progress as those which primed all concerned for the introduction of the old opera-buffa last March. But the listener could only marvel again at the manner in which singers who ordinarily would not be regarded as masters of Mozartean song excelled their usual vocal selves and achieved the essential beauty, grace and style of this music.

Florence Easton's versatility has never taken a more surprising or gratifying tangent than in her superb delivery of the difficult and florid music which Mozart wrote for the phenomenal Ferraresi del Bene. Adamo Didur (ably assisted, it must be conceded, by the bassoon at those moments when he sounds most astonishingly tuneful) has nothing finer or droller to his credit than the cynical Don Alfonso. If Lucrezia Bori is not in her happiest element, either vocally or in the assertion of her very charming personality as Despina, she supplies much of the life of the opera, and not a little of the "vis cornica." Frances Peralta ably complements Miss Eaton as Dorabella while George Meader and Giuseppe de Luca, as the lovers, sing their Mozart as if to the manner born. The regret lingers that Mr. Bodanzky in his preparation of the work saw fit to eliminate the tenor air, "Un Aura Amorosa," which Mr. Meader ought to sing exceedingly well.

As again given Wednesday evening, the chief joy of the opera was in the concerted music and this was exceedingly well sung. With the return of "Cosi" Mr. Bodanzky came into his own, the entire performance bearing the impress of his skill and sympathy.

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