[Met Performance] CID:86040
Cavalleria Rusticana {220}
Le Coq d'Or {29}
Metropolitan Opera House: 01/21/1924.

(Debut: Alexis Kosloff
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 21, 1924


CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA {220}

Santuzza................Florence Easton
Turiddu.................Mario Chamlee
Lola....................Flora Perini
Alfio...................Millo Picco
Mamma Lucia.............Henriette Wakefield

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


In French
LE COQ D'OR {29}
Rimsky-Korsakov-Byelsky

ROLE...............SINGER...................DANCER

Cockerel...........Laura Robertson
Queen..............Amelita Galli-Curci......Rosina Galli
Dodon..............Adamo Didur..............Alexis Kosloff [Debut]
Amelfa.............Merle Alcock.............Florence Rudolph
Astrologer.........Rafaelo Diaz.............Giuseppe Bonfiglio
Polkan.............Louis D'Angelo...........Ottokar Bartik
Gvidon.............Pietro Audisio...........Isador Swee
Knight.............Vincenzo Reschiglian.....Domenico Da Re

Conductor...............Giuseppe Bamboschek

Director................Rosina Galli
Designer................Willy Pogany
Choreographer...........Rosina Galli
Translation by Calvocoressi

[Production based on a concept of Michel Fokine which had solo artists and chorus on the sides of the stage while the dancers portrayed the characters in the center.]

Le Coq d'Or received ten performances this season.

Review signed P. C. R. in Musical America

FANTASY RULES AS 'LE COQ D'OR' GLITTERS AGAIN AT METROPOLITAN

Admirers of Rimsky-Korsakoff's Brilliant Opera Rejoice Over Its Restoration - Amelita Galli-Curci Sing Role of "Princess" -- Alexis Kosloff Makes Debut as "King" - Merle Alcock and Laura Robertson Among New Members of Cast - Rosina Galli, Didur and Diaz in Familiar Parts


When Rimsky-Korsakoff's "Le Coq d'Or" was dropped from the repertoire of the Metropolitan Opera two seasons ago, lamentations were heard in the land. The weeping and wailing continued until Mr. Gatti-Casazza announced a restoration as part of the present season's program. On Monday night of last week the general manager kept his promise. The Golden Cockerel crowed as blithely as of yore, and an immense audience followed the adventures of the doddering King Dodon with very evident delight.

"Le Coq d'Or" was first given at the Metropolitan in the season of 1917-18 and it was a feature of the repertoire up to the season of 1920-21. A mixture of humor and fantasy, it exercises an irresistible charm for many, and its revival was awaited with great expectations. There were defects in the performance last week, defects which will probably be eliminated in the course of a few repetitions, but it seemed from the raptures of the audience that expectations, in the main, were realized.

Much of Rimsky-Korsakoff's sparkling, gaily colored score, is an undiluted delight, for all that the composer's method sometimes makes for monotony. Necessarily there is no room for profound thought in the musical illumination of Pushkin's fantastic satire, but the musician's task is not made any easier because of that fact. "Le Coq d'Or" stands as a tour de force. The sheer cleverness of the music, its scintillating brilliance, sweeps the audience away. Its immediate effect may be dulled by repeated hearings, one may find passages of little appeal, of a superficiality which mere ingenuity cannot hide, but there is a great deal in it that retains its first charm.

The work, as originally planned, demanded a company of so much versatility that any producer might well shake his head in despair, and it does seem that the expedient of the double company, with dancers to mime the story and singers seated at the sides to give the words, is a happy compromise. It is a compromise, however, not without its defects, since it demands unity in expression between vocalist and pantomimist, and this is not easily achieved. The effect of the fantasy would, no doubt, be heightened by the employment of singing actors, but then one would have to do without the expressive mobility of the ballet.

It is a sad thought that suggests "Le Coq d'Or" without Rosina Galli as the Princess. In all the presentations of the work in New York she has moved with enchanting grace, the central figure of the spectacle. Several voices have been fitted to her part, but to the eye the beautiful charmer has remained the same; not actually the same; for last week she seemed more enchanting than ever when she came from her magic pavilion to pose to the delightful phrases of the "Hymn to the Sun." It was Amelita Galli-Curci who sang the music, and thus the celebrated soprano added another role to her long list. Formerly, Maria Barrientos, Mabel Garrison and Evelyn Scotney were heard in the part.

Newcomers in Cast

Mme. Galli-Curci was not the only newcomer in the cast of the revival. Merle Alcock was allotted the music of Amelfa and Laura Robertson supplied the voice of the Golden Cock. There was only one important change in the company of pantomimists: Alexis Kosloff, making his debut at the Metropolitan, appeared as Dodon, succeeding Adolph Bolm, who left the company a few seasons ago.

Some of the new singers evidently found their situation a little strange. The task is not easy when one must hold a position at the side of the stage and suit the vocal line to the actions of another person in the center of the stage. Moreover, the movements of the silent actors did not always synchronize with the music. Doubtless a considerable improvement will be effected in subsequent performances.

Galli-Curci Sings

The part of the Princess is extremely difficult for the singer, but Mme. Galli-Curci is accustomed to vocal difficulties. Before the second act was far advanced she sang with much beauty of voice, sounding the vaulting cadences with clear tone and much in her familiar manner. The exquisite "Hymn to the Sun" affords her many opportunities and it will doubtless become one of the favorite opera arias of her innumerable admirers. After the big scene on the battlefield, she came down from the singers' gallery to join hands with her double in the part, Rosina Galli, and the audience paid her clamorous tribute. Again and again she was recalled, with the other principals, and finally, Giuseppe Bamboschek, who conducted, was brought forward to share in the applause.

Mme. Alcock made a good impression in the part of Amelfa, although the music does not fully exercise her beautiful voice. Laura Robertson sounded the repeated call of the Golden Cock with excellent effect. Adamo Didur was again successful in his old part of the King, and, of course, Rafaelo Diaz gave voice to the Astrologer. Mr. Diaz was better than ever. Louis D'Angelo as the General, Pietro Audisio as the Prince, and Vincenzo Reschiglian as a Knight were the other singers.

A Comic "Dodon"

On the pantomimic side, a good deal of interest attached to the assumption of Dodon's robes, by Mr. Kosloff. The doddering king was scarcely changed in countenance and figure, and certainly he exhibited a lively appreciation of the grotesque. Mr. Kosloff seemed determined to get the utmost fun out of the fantastic business, and he acted very effectively. He was particularly amusing when he attempted to emulate the Princess in dance. Florence Rudolph was a familiar and charming Amelfa, and Giuseppe Bonfiglio and Ottokar Bartik were also in their accustomed parts of the Astrologer and the General. Isador Swee was the Prince and Domenico Da Re the Knight.

Mr. Bamboschek conducted a sprightly performance in which the orchestra did exceedingly well. The revival again emphasized the fact that the Metropolitan audience owes no little debt to Willy Pogany for his delightful decorations.



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