[Met Performance] CID:8290
Aida {8} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/15/1890.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 15, 1890
In German


AIDA {8}
Giuseppe Verdi--Antonio Ghislanzoni

Aida....................Lilli Lehmann
Radamès.................Julius Perotti
Amneris.................Charlotte Huhn
Amonasro................Theodore Reichmann
Ramfis..................Emil Fischer
King....................Joseph Beck
Messenger...............Albert Mittelhauser
Priestess...............Félicie Kaschowska
Dance...................Miss Louie
Dance...................Josefine Ambroggio

Conductor...............Anton Seidl

Director................Theodore Habelmann
Set Designer............Henry E. Hoyt
Costume Designer........Carl Schäffel

Translation by unknown

Aida received three performances this season.

Unsigned review in The New York Times

METROPOLITAN OPERA HOUSE.

The performance of Verdi's "Aida" at the Metropolitan Opera House last evening was delightful in most respects, though susceptible of some improvements. The cast was an uncommonly strong one, save in the case of Fraülein Huhn, who was entirely overweighted with the grand rôle of Amneris. It is probable that many of the habitués of the German opera are quite ignorant of the possibilities of this part. Certainly, those who never heard Annie Louise Cary in it know nothing of its scope. If she had been on the stage in the great duet of the second act Lilli Lehmann would have met with one of the surprises of her career, for, as she went through the scene last night, she would have been completely overshadowed by the greatest Amneris that ever walked the stage. It is impossible for any one hearing "Aida" today to avoid remembering Strakosch's company at Booth's Theatre some fifteen years ago, when Clara Louise Kellogg and Teresina Singer were the Aidas, Cary the Amneris. Pantaleoni the Amonasro, and Frapolli the Rhadames.

Lilli Lehmann was not so fine an Aida as Singer, but she was successful in the rôle. She looked a noble savage Princess and her powerful voice was heard to advantage in the lovely measures. She will no doubt do much finer work with this part when she has sung it once or twice more. In the solo in the scene before the temple she seemed to have considerable difficulty in controlling her voice, and her mezza-voce effects were not what she intended them to be. In the subsequent scenes with Amonasro and Rhadames, particularly in the beautiful duet with the latter, she sang in a manner wholly worthy of a great artist.

In Rhadames Herr Perotti has a thoroughly congenial rôle. He has not been overworked this season, and he was in excellent condition last evening. He sang with splendid abandon and plentiful force. In the duet with Aida just referred to he did something more than exhibit the strength and quality of his voice. He sang with real dramatic feeling which he endeavored to express through the customary artifices of singing. He even attempted a smorzando effect, which came near to being successful

Herr Reichmann was a dignified and sonorous Amonasro, and at times he was forcible. He sang the music, as he sings everything, with good judgment and method, but not always absolutely in tune. The remaining members of the cast were Herr Fischer in his old rôle of the High Priest, and Herr Beck as the King. Fischer was not in good voice, but did his work well, as he always does. Herr Beck sang excellently and added not a little to the general strength of the cast. Taken all in all, last night's performance may be set down as the best that has been given in German at the Opera House, and one of the best heard in the city in recent years. The great scene before the temple in the third act was given with magnificent power by Lehmann, Perotti, and Reichmann, and was the climax of the evening's work.

The chorus was not always true to the pitch, but the orchestra did its duty admirably. Herr Seidl conducted with care, judgment, and great firmness. The brass band unfortunately was just a trifle out of tune with the orchestra. The spectacular features of the opera were displayed in a lavish manner. Most of the costumes appeared to be new, the scenery had been freshened up, and the stage was a constant field of gorgeousness. Tomorrow evening Wagner's "Flying Dutchman" will be given.



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