[Met Performance] CID:91430
Aida {307} Matinee ed. Metropolitan Opera House: 12/5/1925.

(Debut: Carmela Ponselle
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 5, 1925 Matinee


AIDA {307}
Giuseppe Verdi--Antonio Ghislanzoni

Aida....................Elisabeth Rethberg
Radamès.................Giovanni Martinelli
Amneris.................Carmela Ponselle [Debut]
Amonasro................Giuseppe De Luca
Ramfis..................José Mardones
King....................William Gustafson
Messenger...............Angelo Badà
Priestess...............Laura Robertson
Dance...................Florence Rudolph

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

Review of Oscar Thompson in Musical America

Carmela Ponselle's Début

"Aida," which contrives always to be a contender for first honors in the number of performances given favorite operas in a season, served to introduce another of the Metropolitan's new singers Saturday afternoon, when Carmela Ponselle, sister of Rosa, and her former partner in the dim days of the Ponzillo sisters in vaudeville, made her operatic debut as Amneris. Many friends were in the audience to greet her, and she was applauded heartily at the time of her first entrance and thereafter, with numerous curtain recalls, including several alone at the end of the first scene of the last act.

The now well-established and much-admired younger sister, who has appeared in the titular part of "Aida," was not in the cast with the newcomer, having been scheduled for Leonora in "Trovatore" at the evening performance of the same day. Instead, Miss Ponselle's rival for the love of Radames was impersonated by Elisabeth Rethberg, the others in the cast being Giovanni Martinelli as the soldier-lover, Giuseppe de Luca as Amonasro, William Gustafson as The King, Jose Mardones as Ranfis, Laura Robertson as A Priestess and Angelo Bada as A Messenger. Of these, it is sufficient to say that all met the standards set at other performances.

Miss Ponselle disclosed in the [first] scene a mezzo-soprano voice of good quality, and, within its limitations, well used. Mr. Serafin's very vital and not infrequently noisy orchestra obscured her tone on sundry occasions, but that has happened to others essaying the same music. The voice seemed more an organ for lyric utterance than for dramatic climaxes, in marked contrast with the heroic tone at the command of Rosa.

More in her stage business, her gestures and her postures, than in her singing, the new mezzo gave indications of nervousness that may have been a severer handicap than was generally realized. However, her audience plainly liked her, and further appearances will tell how far she may be expected to go along the path that Rosa Ponselle has followed in advancing to her new triumph in "La Vestale."



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