[Met Performance] CID:97280
Aida {328} American Academy of Music, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 11/22/1927.

(Review)


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
November 22, 1927


AIDA {328}
Giuseppe Verdi--Antonio Ghislanzoni

Aida....................Grete Stückgold
Radamès.................Giovanni Martinelli
Amneris.................Marion Telva
Amonasro................Giuseppe Danise
Ramfis..................Pavel Ludikar
King....................Joseph Macpherson
Messenger...............Alfio Tedesco
Priestess...............Charlotte Ryan
Dance...................Rita De Leporte

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

Review of Samuel l. Laciar in the Philadelphia Ledger

German Star in 'Aida'

Stückgold and Martinelli Are Applauded in Metropolitan's Presentation at Academy

The Metropolitan Opera Company's presentation of Verdi's "Aida" last evening at the Academy of Music was decidedly uneven as to the members of the cast, certain places in the vocalization and parts of the dramatic action. The opera varied between some extremely high levels of music and action, these culminating in the third act, the Nile scene, and parts which were decidedly mediocre.

Interest in the performance centered in the new German soprano, Grete Stückgold, who assumed the title role. Her delineation of the character of the unfortunate Ethiopian princess was individual and, in some ways, original, but always convincing. Its outstanding characteristic was the pathos with which she invested the role, notably at the close of the first scene of the first act and again, to the same music, at the end of the first scene of the second act.

At the same time her dramatic action when she defied the Princess Amneris when she refused to betray Radmaes at the behest of her father, Amonasro, and when she finally yielded to his demands was appropriate to the varied emotions when the situations required. Miss Stückgold not only revealed a versatility unusual in a German artist, but also she showed a knowledge of and a sympathy with the traditional Italian "Aida," which, after all, must be accepted as the authentic characterization.

Has Beautiful Voice

Miss Stückgold possesses a voice of beautiful quality, considerable range and moderate power. Her chief vocal asset, as exhibited last evening, is her ability to make the voice express the varied emotional values of the role which run almost the entire gamut of human emotions. The great aria "Ritorna vincitor," in the first act, was superbly done, but even better, the greater "O cieli azuri" and the "O patria mia," of the third act. The duet with Radames in the third act, was another splendid bit of singing and dramatization. Miss Stückgold was received with great enthusiasm by the audience and took many well-deserved curtain calls.

Martinelli Is Applauded

Mr. Martinelli is the present-day authoritative Radames, and he has been for some years. His last evening's performance was good in every respect. Verdi is unkind to the tenor and to the audience in placing the chief tenor aria, "Ceteste Aida," within ten minutes of the time the curtain rises. The tenor has not had time to "warm up" (something necessary in an operatic company as in a baseball team) and an American audience has not had time to get to the theatre. But, nevertheless, there it is. Verdi apparently writing for tenors already attuned to the roles and for audiences accustomed to be on time.

Mr. Martinelli last evening scored the first of many successes with this beautiful number, and his vocal and dramatic qualities increased as the performance progressed. His work in the Nile scene was magnificent, especially at the close, and when he presented the surrendered sword to the High Priest he achieved one of the high spots of the performance. Mr. Martinelli shared with Miss Stückgold the finest presentation of the performance.

Telva Sings Amneris

The trying role of Amneris was taken by Marian Telva, who was by no means equal to the demands of the role, either vocally or dramatically. Her voice last evening was neither dramatic nor powerful enough to compare favorably with some of the great Amnerises which the Metropolitan has given us in the past, and her conception of the part was not consistent.

Mr. Danise's Amonasro might have been any one of the several roles to which he is assigned by Mr. Gatti for any individuality of characterization which he displayed. In the Nile scene he did his best work vocally.



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