[Met Performance] CID:91100
Martha {83} American Academy of Music, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 11/10/1925.

(Debut: Agnes Moore
Review)


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
November 10, 1925
In Italian


MARTHA {83}
Flotow-Friedrich

Lady Harriet............Frances Alda
Lionel..................Beniamino Gigli
Nancy...................Kathleen Howard
Plunkett................Giuseppe De Luca
Sir Tristram............Pompilio Malatesta
Sheriff.................Millo Picco
Maid....................Flora Cingolani
Maid....................Lavinia Puglioli
Maid....................Agnes Moore [Debut]
Servant.................Vincenzo Reschiglian

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

Director................Wilhelm Von Wymetal
Set designer............Joseph Urban

Martha received two performances this season.

Review (unsigned) in the Philadelphia Record

FLOTOW OPERA OPENS SEASON

Metropolitan Company Heard in Melodious 'Martha' at the Academy of Music.

GIGLI'S LOVELY VOICE

Frances Alda in the Title Role, Papi Conducts With Customary Art.

One of the melodious old operas, "Martha," sung in Italian, was, last evening at the Academy of Music, the introductory for the season of the Metropolitan Opera in this city. There was the customary "sold out" house for the [first night] and, of course, the occasion had a social aspect, with women in fine array and with escorts trim and neat. But the brilliance did not extend to the performance. Rather it was what might be termed a good presentation of the opera, under the efficient direction of Gennaro Papi. His endeavors were laudable. It was in the leading interpreters of the opera that disappointment came. Beniamino Gigli, determined doubtless to make his presentation of the role of Lionel stand forth, erred in that he overemphasized the dramatic quality. He demonstrated anew the rich beauties of his voice, singing with delicacy at times, but often with too much robustness. There was Frances Alda as Lady Harriet (Martha). Hers was an uneven performance. "The Last Rose of Summer," as she voiced it first in Italian, was an effort and rather distressing, too, what with the prompter's voice plainly audible. But when she sang the air in English there was improvement. Her best work came in the final act in a duet with Gigli. The final scene of the opera had all the nature of grand opera as the public likes it.

Giuseppe De Luca, dependable baritone, was in the role of Plunkett. He sang with understanding and with good effect. Kathleen Howard was the acceptable, but not distinguished, Nancy. Pompilio Matastesta, as Tristan, and Millo Picco, as the Sheriff, were heard advantageously, and there was a pleasant hit in the singing by the three maids, one of whom displayed an unusually attractive voice. The roles were in the keeping for Flora Cingolani, Lavinia Puglioli and Agnes Moore.

However, this is not to say that the performance lacked entertainment. The Flotow melodies are so familiar and are so ingratiating that it is always a pleasure to have them repeated. Especially was the orchestral work delightful and the introductory to the second scene of the opera - the overture, in fact - was a treat. The chorus sang with excellent balance and with impressive effect. The scenery, by Joseph Urban, was attractive and the costuming, likewise, was pleasing to the eye.



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