[Met Performance] CID:9400
United States Premiere
Diana von Solange {1} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/9/1891.
 (United States Premiere)
(Debut: Martha Irmler
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 9, 1891

United States Premiere


DIANA VON SOLANGE {1}
Ernst II (Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha)--Otto Prechtler

Diana...................Pauline Schöller-Haag
Armand..................Andreas Dippel
Katharine...............Marie Jahn
Fuegos..................Conrad Behrens
Heinrich................Juan Luria
Pedrillo................Edmund Müller
Celema..................Bruno Lurgenstein
Dance...................Martha Irmler [Debut]
Dance...................Miss Leontine
Dance...................Miss Francioli
Dance...................Miss Polednik
Dance...................Fanny Lengyelffy

Conductor...............Anton Seidl

Director................Theodore Habelmann
Costume Designer........E. S. Freisinger

Diana von Solange received two performances this season.


Review of W. J. Henderson in The New York Times

METROPOLITAN OPERA HOUSE.

Two ideas were forcibly impressed upon the hearer of "Diana von Solange," an opera in five acts and two murders by Ernst II, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, produced at the Metropolitan Opera House last evening. The first was that Mr. Stanton in producing it assumed no such haughty attitude as the British peers in "Iolanthe" when they cry "Bow, bow, ye lowe middle classes," but rather that of Lord Tolloler when he exclaimed, "Spurn not the nobly born." The second was that when the director gazed at the descending curtain at the close of " "Asrael" on the [first] night of the season he must have murmured, "Thus bad begins, but worse remains behind."

There may be many reasons for the production of "Diana von Solange," but it would be difficult to discover them. The Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha is said to be an amiable old gentleman (he was born in 1818) and he has an unlimited supply of orders. The Coburg order is so cheap that in Europe it is known as the "omnibus." All you have to do is to produce one of the Duke's operas and presto! you are decorated. Indeed, if you are concerned in any way in the production and do not desire to be decorated, you must take to the woods. If you sit through the opera five times you get two orders and an invitation to dine with the Duke. If you sit out seven performances you are invited to dine with the Duke's august relative (by marriage) Queen Victoria. Doubtless this had something to do with the presentation of the work at the Metropolitan. If it could be run up to seven performances Mr. McAllister and his friends might be enabled to drop her Majesty's cook from their dinner list and substitute her Majesty herself.

But, alas! it is unlikely that the ladies and gentlemen who adorn the boxes of the Metropolitan will obtain the coveted invitation, for unless they choose to sit out the opera without the assistance of the general public they will never see a third performance. Moreover, they do not deserve any consideration from the Ducal heart, for they chattered dreadfully, and there is a terrible rumor that whosoever talks in the course of a representation of this opera will be cut by the Prince of Wales.

It was reported before the production of "Diana von Solange" that the music was Donizetti and water. Poor Donizetti He was drowned: It was all water, and, as a "Puck" poet said of the fountain of eternal youth, very poor water at that, The Duke wrote this opera in 1852, and it was first performed in 1857. How it ever lived so long is a mystery. Perhaps it died and last night's rendering was a resurrection. To speak seriously, the work has a tolerably good libretto, but the music is simply rubbish. There is no excuse whatever for the attempt of the Amusement Committee of the Opera House to foist such trash upon this public. There is a marvelous amount of patience in this community, but it is not illimitable, and if the course entered upon this season is pursued, disaster is sure to result.

The performance last night was very little better than the opera. There were abundant evidences of haste in the preparation, and frequently the principal singers, as well as the chorus, were sadly uncertain in their work. Frau Schöller showed her good training by her excellent singing in some of the arias of Diana, and Herr Dippel was commendable generally as the Marquis. The other members of the cast were Fräulein Jahn, Herren Behrens, Luria, Mastorff, and Müller.

The ballet in the third act was exceedingly pretty, and was decidedly the most agreeable feature of the evening. The premiere danseuse of the house, Mlle. Irmler, who has been sick, made her first appearance, and proved to be a graceful and accomplished artist.



Added Index Entries for Subjects and Names


Back to short citation(s).