[Met Performance] CID:88110
Andrea Chénier {23} Metropolitan Opera House: 11/12/1924.

(Reviews)


Metropolitan Opera House
November 12, 1924


ANDREA CHÉNIER {23}
U. Giordano-Illica

Andrea Chénier..........Beniamino Gigli
Maddalena...............Florence Easton
Carlo Gérard............Giuseppe Danise
Bersi...................Ellen Dalossy
Countess di Coigny......Kathleen Howard
Abbé....................Giordano Paltrinieri
Fléville................Lawrence Tibbett
L'Incredibile...........Angelo Badà
Roucher.................Millo Picco
Mathieu.................Adamo Didur
Madelon.................Marion Telva
Dumas...................Louis D'Angelo
Fouquier Tinville.......Paolo Ananian
Schmidt.................Pompilio Malatesta
Major-domo..............Vincenzo Reschiglian

Conductor...............Tullio Serafin

Director................Samuel Thewman
Set designer............Triangle Studio
Set designer............James Fox
Costume designer........Triangle Studio
Costume designer........Mathilde Castel-Bert
Choreographer...........Rosina Galli

Andrea Chénier received seven performances this season.

[Triangle Studio designed the sets for Acts I and II, J. Fox those for Acts III and IV.]


Review of W. J. Henderson in the Sun

Umberto Giordano's opera "Andrea Chenier" was given at the Metropolitan Opera House last evening for the first time in the yet young season. The introduction of this opera into the repertory was one of the most successful of Mr. Gatti-Casazza's experiments in extension. It would be idle to speak of it as if it were a highly important work of art, but few operas indeed can be accorded such a rank. It is a good, serviceable drama set to music always appropriate and often rising to levels of something like eloquence. This is about as much as can be expected of the majority of what are called good operas.

Mr. Gatti-Casazza has been able to present the work exceptionally well. Again this season, despite one important but necessary change in the cast, the opera is fortunate. The role of Madeleine, which was originally sung by Miss Claudia Muzio, was last evening in the hands of Mme. Florence Easton. This sound and versatile artist was happily placed in the part. Her appearance was charming and her action excellently devised. Of course she sang the music well. Mme. Easton is essentially a singer, musical and therefore dramatic, not tempestuously temperamental, to be sure, but sensitive, intelligent and graphic. Her position of the development of Madeleine from a rather silly young society girl into a woman of profound feeling was admirably planned and executed.

Mr. Gigli's Andre Chenier is one of his best achievements. He sings the music in a manner to command the warmest praise, and, as usual, last evening he aroused the audience with the impassioned address of the first scene. Among the others, noticeable in the cast were Mme. Howard as the Countess de Coigny, Miss Dalossy as Bersi, Mr. Ananian as Fouquier and Bada as the "incroyable." Mr. Didur repeated his little sketch of Mathieu. Mr. Moranzoni conducted.


Review of guest critic Ernest Newman (UK) in the Post

"Andrea Chenier" at the Metropolitan

What is it that still keeps "André Chénier" on the boards here and there? Musically it has not a single thing to recommend it; Giordano never gets an idea that is above the fifth-rate, and the orchestration is at its best amateurish and at its worst incompetent. Giordano cannot even dish up the commonest Italian operatic formula in a way to make them appetizing; to cite one instance out of twenty, what other composer could have failed to write at least one moving phrase - even if it had been originally someone else's - in the scene where the old woman brings her grandson to be sent away as a soldier? When Giordano tries to be expressive he is only futile; when he tries to be impressive, as in the finale, he is merely blatant. The last three or four minutes are surely the noisiest in all opera, and the most brainless.

Perhaps it is a certain human quality in the story that keeps his work from perishing utterly; our experiences in the non-operatic theatre have shown us that even thoroughly bad plays about the Reign of Terror are sure of an audience - perhaps because we can all of us see ourselves, in imagination, being drafted off to the guillotine in the next Reign of Terror. The audience at "André Chénier," in fact, mostly regards the first two acts as disagreeable necessities, and only begins to take a real interest in the proceedings in the tribunal scene.

It says a good deal for the dramatic intelligence of Mr. Gigli and Mr. Danise that they almost managed to persuade us that two such characters as André Chénier (Giordano's I mean, not the historical personage) and Gerard were possible. Both sang well, though Mr. Gigli was better in the more energetic than in the suaver moments. Miss Easton could not convince us at all that such a person as Madeleine ever existed or could exist outside Italian opera, but her tones always rang agreeably in the ear. Of the remaining parts, those with a touch of distinction about them were the Spy of Mr. Bada, the Mathieu of Mr. Didur and the Dumas of Mr. d'Angelo.



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