[Met Performance] CID:94620
Don Quichotte {8} Matinee ed. Metropolitan Opera House: 12/18/1926.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 18, 1926 Matinee


DON QUICHOTTE {8}
Massenet-Cain

Don Quichotte...........Fyodor Chaliapin
Dulcinée................Marion Telva
Sancho Pança............Giuseppe De Luca
Pedro...................Grace Anthony
Garcias.................Minnie Egener
Rodriguez...............Max Altglass
Juan....................Angelo Badà
Ténébrun................Paolo Ananian
Servant.................Vincenzo Reschiglian
Servant.................Arnold Gabor
Bandit..................Louis D'Angelo
Bandit..................James Wolfe

Conductor...............Louis Hasselmans

Director................Samuel Thewman
Set designer............Joseph Urban
Costume designer........Gretel Urban
Choreographer...........August Berger

Don Quichotte received two performances this season.

Review (unsigned) in the New York Tribune

Chaliapin Reappears At the Metropolitan In 'Don Quichotte'

Russian Singing-Actor Transforms Feeble Opera By His Wizardry in Interpretation of the Knight

Feodor Chaliapin, the great Russian singing-actor, returned to the Metropolitan at yesterday's opera matinee, to the manifest joy of a crowded house. It was an evidence of the singer's confidence in his own drawing power that he chose to effect his re-entrance in one of the feeblest of operas, Massenet's "Don Quichotte," in which he was first heard here last season. If anything had been needed to demonstrate anew the fact that Mr. Chaliapin is one of the supreme masters of operatic impersonation, the things he accomplishes in this opera would prove it up to the hilt. For Mr. Chalipain performs what is little short of a miracle in "Don Quichotte." Nothing could exceed the musical emptiness of Massenet's score or the dull ineptitude of the libretto. Yet whenever Chalipin is on the stage you forget the triteness and insipidity of the music, forget the stultifying libretto; for Chaliapin, by some wizardry of histrionic genius, has recaptured the essence of Cervantes's wonderful figure of the crackbrained dreamer, and has embodied it in his impersonation. The character, so inexpressively drawn by Massenet and his librettist, takes shape, finds voice, comes to life and the deathless Knight of Cervantes's imagination stands before you, veracious and unforgettable.

Only Chaliapin, probably, could achieve this feat. The fine impersonation of Vanni-Marcoux is not to be named in the same breath with it; and it is not easy to think of the opera as surviving Mr. Chaliapin's retirement - which, one may hope, is an event of the very distant future. The basso's performance at yesterday's matinee was one of memorable finesse and beauty, dramatically of the highest eloquence, vocally in the manner of Mr. Chalipain's present estate. His return to the opera house was made the occasion for cordial demonstrations.

The Dulcinea of the afternoon was Miss Marion Telva, whose impersonation of the role was a curiously uneven one. Some of her singing, in mezza voce passages especially, was adroit and lovely. At other times the tone was unsteady and the pitch untrue. And does not Miss Telva too generously attribute to Dulcinea virtues of character which that lady did not possess? Certainly her performance would benefit by a lighter touch, a brighter color, a less deliberate tempo.

Mr. de Luca, as last season, was an admirable Sancho. Grace Anthony sang Pedro, Minnie Egener was the Garcias, Max Altglass the Rodriguez, Angelo Bada the Juan, Paolo Ananian the Bandit Chief. Others in the cast were Vincenzo Reschiglian, Arnold Gabor, Louis d'Angelo and James Wolfe. Mr. Hasselmans conducted.



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