[Met Performance] CID:97100
Aida {326} Matinee ed. Metropolitan Opera House: 11/8/1927.

(Debut: Frederick Jagel
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
November 8, 1927 Matinee


AIDA {326}
Giuseppe Verdi--Antonio Ghislanzoni

Aida....................Grete Stückgold
Radamès.................Frederick Jagel [Debut]
Amneris.................Margarete Matzenauer
Amonasro................Mario Basiola
Ramfis..................Adamo Didur
King....................Joseph Macpherson
Messenger...............Alfio Tedesco
Priestess...............Charlotte Ryan
Dance...................Rita De Leporte

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

Director................Armando Agnini
Set designer............Angelo Parravicini
Costume designer........Ethel Fox
Choreographer...........Rosina Galli

Aida received eight performances this season.

Review of Leonard Liebling in the New York American

GRETE STUECKGOLD SCORES IN 'AIDA' AS HER FIRST BIG ROLE

These early days of the musical season mark interesting debuts of new singers at the Metropolitan Opera House. Two of them appeared yesterday afternoon in "Aida." The one, Crete Stueckgold, had been heard here before, only in the rather small role of Eva, in last week's "Die Meistersinger;" the other, Frederick Jagel, an American tenor, was making his initial appearance at our chief emporium for actioned and costumed lyrical song.

Let us, with deplorable absence of gallantry, discuss him first, perhaps because he sings his most trying aria, the famous "Celeste Aida," only a few minutes after the rise of the first-act curtain - making it the most barbarous test of courage and tone ever conceived by a composer against the tribe of operatic tenors. Jagel, a young man of presentable stature and figure, is peculiarly our own, for he was born in Brooklyn.

Masters Difficult Role

He went at the "Celeste Aida" with courage and confidence and conquered it acceptably. Nervousness probably accounted for a slightly pinched tone-production, but did not mar the naturally fine and sympathetic quality of his voice. His use of it is intelligent and musical. He has had singing experience in Italy and acquired a good measure of its vocal style in opera.

Jagel's high tones are euphonious and he holds them without effort. They are not, however, of the kind that shake the rafters, or soar loftily above the chorus and orchestra. He charges his utterances with feeling. His acting is graceful and techniqued. He did not, on the whole, establish himself unqualifiedly as a tenor of the kind the Italians call "robusto," except in some of the notably full and nobly-colored tones of the middle register. Parts of the present judgment may be revised upon further hearings of the debutante. Yesterday he received a warm welcome, with many curtain calls and based on merit, rather than on patriotism. (The mercenary "bis" an "bravo" boys were strangely silent.

Miss Stueckgold Scores

Miss Stueckgold, an experienced singer in German and Italian roles, found no difficulty in giving an excellent, even if not great, account of herself as the dusky but delectable Aida. Her voice has sweetness and flexibility. She knows how to color it with emotion, and to make it follow lyrical bidding.

She, too, however, lacked in the power and brilliancy of her high tones, and in the larger lines of the Verdian drive in "Aida." Occasionally, when forcing her organ, Miss Stueckgold wavered from the true pitch. She gave a warm-blooded piece of acting and made of the Ethiopian slave-princess a younger, more impulsive and quick moving personage than is customary. Her presentation won warm favor from the listeners.

For the rest, Mme. Matzenauer delivered her familiar, authoritative Amneris; Mario Basiola was a rousing Amonasro, and the other roles felt to Joseph MacPherson. Adamo Didur, Alfio Tedesco and Charlotte Ryan. Tullio Serafin, the conductor, caused the performance to move with vigor and accuracy.



Photograph of Frederick Jagel as Radamès.



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