[Met Performance] CID:91140
Madama Butterfly {181} Metropolitan Opera House: 11/13/1925.

(Reviews)


Metropolitan Opera House
November 13, 1925


MADAMA BUTTERFLY {181}
Puccini-Illica/Giacosa

Cio-Cio-San.............Elisabeth Rethberg
Pinkerton...............Beniamino Gigli
Suzuki..................Ina Bourskaya
Sharpless...............Mario Basiola
Goro....................Giordano Paltrinieri
Bonze...................Paolo Ananian
Yamadori................Max Altglass
Kate Pinkerton..........Phradie Wells
Commissioner............Vincenzo Reschiglian
Yakuside................Paolo Quintina

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

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

Madama Butterfly received five performances this season.


Review of R. M. K. in Musical America

The first "Madama Butterfly" of the season on Friday evening of last week brought Elisabeth Rethberg to the title role and Beniamino Gigli as the perfidious, though vocally charming, Pinkerton. Mme. Rethberg's Cio-Cio-San has grown in power since she first essayed the Puccini part in America several seasons ago. The singer has deepened the tragic pathos and charm of her acting by a multitude of well-considered devices. There were numerous interruptions of applause, especially after the "Un bel di." And at the second act curtain, when Mme. Rethberg was accorded an individual recall, there were shouts of approval from the house. Mr. Gigli lent suave and beautiful singing to his arias in the first and third acts, and he made a manly and personable hero as always. In the duet at the close of Act I, auditors had the satisfaction of hearing two of the finest voices now before the public. Mario Basiola, in his second appearance at the Metropolitan, gave to the part of Sharpless dignity of bearing and sonority of voice. The other roles were taken by Ina Bourskaya, Giordano Paltrinieri, Phradie Wells, Max Altglass, Paolo Ananian and Vincenzo Reschiglian. Little Paolo Quintina, the Trouble, had an ovation all his own. Tullio Serafin, in the conductor's chair, gave an impressive dramatic quality to his reading of the score. The hand of Mr. von Wymetal, the régisseur, was apparent in felicity of stage action.


Review signed M. W. in the Herald Tribune

Last night the stage was given over to the woes of "Madama Butterfly," the first presentation of that opera in the current season, with Elisabeth Rethberg singing the role of the pathetic geisha. Her voice has the essential wings, the gossamer, the brilliant flecks of color, although the same may not always be said of her acting. There were many moments, however, in last evening's performance when the illusion was complete; moments compounded of her sincerity, her pure and lovely lyricism, the infallibly poignant libretto, the appealing setting, the musical showmanship of Puccini, and the admirably restrained and sympathetic reading of Mr. Serafin.

Mr. Gigli, as the insouciant Pinkerton, did his vocal and histrionic best to redeem this unworthy member of the United States naval forces from the dislike he so richly deserves. Mr. Scotti, doubtless at home acquiring his beauty sleep against today's "Falstaff," yielded his familiar role of the consul, Sharpless, to Mario Basiola, who made his debut with the company last Wednesday. His interpretation, if somewhat patently Latin, was of a pleasant baritone benignity. It would seem that there could scarcely be a Suzuki better conceived that that of Ina Bourskaya, or a more carefully elaborated and effective Goro than Mr. Patrinieri's. The tiny impersonator of Trouble was particularly engaging. Messrs. Altglass, Ananian, Quintina, Reschiglian and Miss Phradie Wells, in minor roles, contributed competently to a performance which drew a full and clamorous house.



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