[Met Performance] CID:89220
Dinorah {5} Academy of Music, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 02/3/1925.

(Review)


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
February 3, 1925
In Italian


DINORAH {5}

Dinorah.................Amelita Galli-Curci
Corentin................Armand Tokatyan
Hoėl....................Giuseppe De Luca
Huntsman................Louis D'Angelo
Harvester...............Angelo Badą
Goatherd................Charlotte Ryan
Goatherd................Merle Alcock

Conductor...............Gennaro Papi

Review (unsigned) in the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin

GALLI-CURCI AS DINORAH

Meyerbeer's Opera Revived with Famous Coloratura in Title Role

Memories of some of the famous prima donnas of the past were revived at the Academy of Music last evening, when Meyerbeer's "Dinorah" was presented there for the first time in thirty years, with Amelita Gall-Curci in the coloratura in the title role of the distraught village girl who has lost her lover and goes wandering through the woods in search of him, singing a florid song to her fleeting shadow. The last previous performance of the opera in Philadelphia took place at the Academy of Music on December 27, 1895 when Emma Nevada sang Dinorah and Brizia Pioria was the tenor and Giuseppe Del Puente, the baritone, Gustav Hinrichs directed that performance which was given by the Philadelphia Opera Company.

The first appearance this season of Mme. Galli-Curci naturally was an event of interest, as attested by last night's large and obviously eager audience and if some disappointment was felt it may be said to have been the fault of the work, which seems decidedly stilted and old-fashioned, as well as the presentation, for it cannot be said that anything very brilliant was disclosed in the performance. Dinorah is one of Galli-Curci's most famous roles, as the so-called "Shadow Song" is one of her favorite show pieces, and there was a friendly greeting for her and cordial, if not over-enthusiastic, applause after her singing of the aria.

The action of "Dinorah" takes place in Brittany and there were some picturesque settings, notably a mountainous region and a barren moor bordering on the sea, with much realism in the way of what seemed to be a real waterfall and a real flood, with the heroine swept into it, to be rescued by the lover who thus discovers her at last. The story is romantic enough and is considerably enhanced by Meyerbeer's score, which has a plentitude of melodies and some dramatic effects, though on the whole it sounds rather thin and inconsequential. Among the best parts are a chorus, "Holy Maria," sung behind the curtain as a part of the overture, and the closing ensemble, also to sacred words, both richly melodious and beautifully sung last night. In addition to these, the chorus appears in only one brief scene, the action and vocal work of the opera being given almost entirely to the three principal characters.

While Galli-Curci was in fair voice and the role seemed congenial to her, her singing, as usual, lacked the thrill which only real brilliance can impart when a singer depends largely upon skill of execution and the ornaments of fioriture for effect. Her middle and lower tones have no exceptional beauty - in fact sound quite ordinary at times - and the chief charm of her singing is in the beautiful quality of her upper tones, particularly in mezza voce, when not marred by a tendency to fall from pitch. There was admirable precision and mechanical skill in her execution of florid passages with the flute, in the "Shadow Song," and in some of the other intricate measures of the score, but nothing that gave much excuse for enthusiasm.

The changes in the cast as announced presented Armand Tokatyan instead of George Meader, in the tenor role of Corentino, and Angelo Bada in the small part of a harvester, in place of Max Altglass. Mr. Tokatyan emphasized the favorable impression made on a former appearance, his true tenor, of good resonance and pleasing, sympathetic quality, being used with ease and effectiveness, the part also being well acted. Giuseppe de Luca, as Hoel, lover of Dinorah, was in his usual good form as to rich baritone quality of voice and refined artistry of vocalism, and others in the cast were Louis D'Angelo as a huntsman, and Charlotte Ryan and Merle Alcock as two goat herders. Gennaro Papi was the conductor.



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