[Met Performance] CID:91460
La Vestale {3} Metropolitan Opera House: 12/7/1925.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 7, 1925
In Italian


LA VESTALE {3}

Giulia..................Rosa Ponselle
Licinio.................Edward Johnson
High Priestess..........Margarete Matzenauer
Cinna...................Giuseppe De Luca
Pontifex Maximus........José Mardones
Consul..................Paolo Ananian

Act I Ballet - Dance of Homage
Goddess: Lilyan Ogden
Corps de Ballet

Act II, Scene 2 Ballet - Fête in Honor of Venus
a) Nuptial Dance - Corps de Ballet
b) Autumnal Fête - Florence Rudolph, Albert Troy, Corps de Ballet
c) Grecian Dance - Corps de Ballet
d) Dance of Jugglers and Finale - Corps de Ballet

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

Review of W. J. Henderson in the Sun

Spontini's 'La Vestale' Pleases

Venerable Lyric Drama Meets Warm Applause of Crowd at the Metropolitan

The Monday night subscribers of the Metropolitan Opera House had their opportunity last evening to behold the glories of ancient Rome. To them came Spontini's venerable lyric drama, "La Vestale." The theater was crowded. There were numerous foot auditors and there was plenteous applause. Without doubt the public, trained to spectacular displays, has taken "La Vestale" with avidity.

Some one has told us that the period of the work is 269 B. C. It is difficult to believe it. One would like to hear from the author of "The Roman Traitor" or from Dean West. We cannot fix the war in which Licinius gained the honor of a triumph. The time was that of the great Italian subjugation, the period in which Umbria and Etruria after long struggles bowed their knees to imperial Rome. Perhaps he defeated Pyrrhus once.

We cannot believe that the hardy warrior of that era ever saw such gaudy trappings on their consuls or such lascivious fetes in honor of their heroes. But after all the whole thing happens in opera land where, as all know, Alice's slumber resort is always completely outdone. The opera of Spontini has two ballets and a procession, choruses and bravura airs and even duos of no mean order. And at the Metropolitan it is splendidly clothed.

The performance of last evening did not carry Miss Ponselle's lucky number. She achieved a triumph at the first disclosure of the work, but it will be recalled that last Saturday she was ill and unable either to sing in "Il Trovatore" or to witness her sister Carmela as Amneris in "Aida." Last evening it was clear that the cold had not entirely deserted the neighborhood of the prima donna's vocal chords. She sang laboriously and sometimes off the key. But she preserved her knowledge of the style and at times rose to her own level. Edward Johnson was again Licinius and he sang his music with more freedom than at the first performance. He, too, showed knowledge of the style. Mme. Matzenaur filled the stage with authority as the presiding vestal and Mr. de Luca as the particular friend of the young Roman was most commendable. The performance was somewhat dull and heavy in the early scenes, doubtless because of Miss Ponselle's lack of brilliance, but it improved as the evening advanced. Mr. Serafin conducted.



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