[Met Performance] CID:93300
Aida {314} Auditorium, Atlanta, Georgia: 04/19/1926.

(Review)


Atlanta, Georgia
Auditorium
April 19, 1926


AIDA {314}
Giuseppe Verdi--Antonio Ghislanzoni

Aida....................Rosa Ponselle
Radamès.................Giovanni Martinelli
Amneris.................Julia Claussen
Amonasro................Michael Bohnen
Ramfis..................José Mardones
King....................Louis D'Angelo
Messenger...............Angelo Badà
Priestess...............Laura Robertson
Dance...................Florence Rudolph

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

Review of Hugh Hodgson in the Atlanta Constitution

Verdi's greatest opera was happily chosen as the [initial] offering of the Metropolitan's sixteenth season in Atlanta. As presented last night, "Aida" is most impressive and spectacular. The plot is more real than many of the early Italian operas, and the music has true oriental coloring in accord with the Egyptian subject. The varied stage settings, the elaborate costumes, the beautiful ballets, the tremendous choruses and, above all, the fine music, make this opera appeal to the general public as well as to the musicians. Undoubtedly the music was greatly influenced by Wagner, it was quite a departure from the old conventional Italian forms, and even from Verdi's earlier works. There are many stirring climaxes and through the entire work are glorious melodies and highly dramatic passages. "Aida" is a powerful opera, and was given with a strong cast, interpreting for us the music in all its glory. Under the master hand of Mr. Serafin, the great orchestra showed to unusual advantage. We regret that much of the beautiful short prelude played softly mainly by the strings could not be enjoyed, due to the unnecessary noise of the audience.

Throughout the opera there was good balance of orchestral parts, fine spirit, and power. Mr. Serafin's interpretations are genuinely musicianly, and under his direction an exceptional performance is assured. It often seems that singers are given all the credit for a brilliant performance of an opera, whereas in many cases the conductor makes their inspired singing possible. There is no doubt of the Metropolitan orchestra being one of the leading organization in our country, especially when Mr. Serafin is conducting.

Ponselle Centers Interest

Miss Rosa Ponselle, as the heroine, was again the center of admiration. Her unusually powerful voice is well suited to the role of Aida. Throughout the heavy chorus, whenever she was singing the lovely quality of her voice could be heard soaring above the grand ensembles. In the difficult aria, "O cieli azuri" in the third act, Miss Ponselle's work was deservedly appreciated.

Mr. Martinelli, probably Atlanta's favorite tenor, was heard in one of his strongest roles. His Radames is always vivid, true to its characterization and strong in its appeal. Mr. Mardones' sonorous voice sang the role of the priest in his usual fine taste. Mr. D'Angelo as the Egyptian monarch was most acceptable.

Mr. Bohnen strengthened the wonderful impression he made last year in "Lohengrin" and did some of the finest singing of the evening. He is a great artist and singing with rare understanding. He made Amonasro a vital character and with his lovely voice gave us an interpretation of this role with all the beauty of the music seldom realized.

Claussen Shares Honors

Mme. Claussen shared honors with Miss Ponselle. She sang with her accustomed authority and artistry. She depicted the Egyptian princess vividly, sang the dramatic passages especially well, reaching the heights of her work in the last act. We always consider it a privilege to hear Madame Claussen's interpretation.

A review of "Aida" would be incomplete without mentioning the spectacular work of the ballet. These artists added materially to the pleasure of the evening and were a vital element in the success of the performance. The chorus work was up to the usual high standard. Their shadings were excellent and their climaxes splendid, the tremendous power of their singing, the stirring march, and the ballet in the victorious return of Radames with the brilliant staging effect is one of the most impressive scenes in all opera, and was presented last night at its best.



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