[Met Performance] CID:92030
Il Barbiere di Siviglia {128} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/18/1926.


Metropolitan Opera House
January 18, 1926


Figaro..................Giuseppe De Luca
Rosina..................Amelita Galli-Curci
Count Almaviva..........Mario Chamlee
Dr. Bartolo.............Pompilio Malatesta
Don Basilio.............Josť Mardones
Berta...................Henriette Wakefield
Fiorello................Vincenzo Reschiglian
Sergeant................Giordano Paltrinieri

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

Review of W. J. Henderson in the Sun

Galli-Curci Sings Rossini Opera

Diva in "Il Barbiere di Siviglia" Delights Audience at the Metropolitan

Rossini had not been in evidence at the Metropolitan Opera House until last night when "Il Barbiere di Siviglia" was once more brought forward. Of course "William Tell" is yet in reserve and may perhaps be ushered into the glare of the footlights later in the season, but the Rossinian decorations of Beaumarchais were sure to be exhibited while Mme. Galli-Curci was exercising her vocal flute for the pleasure of opera lovers.

There are two great moments for Rosina. The first is when she emerges from her hiding place to warble "Una voce poco fa," composed by Rossini, and the second when she takes a lesson from the very little disguised Almaviva and sings anything she pleases, ancient or modern, plain or embroidered. In the lesson scene last evening Mme. Galli-Curci sang the "Toreador" variations which have no relation to Bizet but to Mozart, and "Home Sweet Home." The embroideries came first and the plain music, second. The audience loved both.

The camouflage of facts rarely finds issue in good results, so it may as well be confessed that the "diva" was in very bad voice. Her "Una voce" was a carnival of spread tone, shaky notes and fiorituri made largely of falling leaves. It ought also to be recorded that this inadequate delivery of an air long famous was applauded with great cordiality. This is worth thinking about. People go to the opera for enjoyment, and if they have the resolution to find it in all conditions the future prosperity of the Metropolitan is assured, whether it remains convenient to the five cent fare of the subway or moves up into a plutocratic taxicab district.

Mme. Galli-Curci naturally sang better in some other parts of the opera, but her reputation was a great asset. The Almaviva was Mr. Chamlee, who is not new to the role and who knows how to sing it. He earned and received plenty of applause. Mr. de Luca's Figaro is an old friend, and from the moment he began the "Largo al factotum" to the end he made his impersonation vivacious and pleasing.

There was also Mr. Mardones as Don Basilio. A great deal can be done with this part by a good comedian, but Mr. Mardones seldom bursts into a gayety. He sings with a big rotund tone and he had, last evening, the usual success with the song about calumny. Mr. Malatesta impersonated, quite according to the traditions, Dr. Bartolo, the doddering old gentleman who aspired to the hand of Rosina. Mr. Papi conducted and, in so far as a conductor could, he made the performance move with spirit.

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