[Met Performance] CID:97290
L'Africaine {50} Metropolitan Opera House: 11/23/1927.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
November 23, 1927
In Italian


L'AFRICAINE {50}
Meyerbeer-Scribe

Sélika..................Rosa Ponselle
Vasco de Gama...........Beniamino Gigli
Inès....................Queena Mario
Nélusko.................Giuseppe De Luca
Pedro...................Adamo Didur
Diégo...................Paolo Ananian
Alvar...................Angelo Badà
Grand Inquisitor........Léon Rothier
High Priest.............Léon Rothier
Anna....................Henriette Wakefield
Usher...................Vincenzo Reschiglian
Officer.................Max Altglass

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

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

L'Africaine received three performances this season.

Review (unsigned) in the New York World

AT THE METROPOLITAN

If old things are the best, and Mr. Gatti should know after "Norma," then the Metropolitan seems to have acquired a facility this season for successful rejuvenation. "L'Africana," that hodge-podge of India's coral strand and the African jungle, with a bit of Broadway and a few Brahmin priests who sing in Italian added for good measure, was beautiful in spite of its age and discrepancies.

After hearing an act or two, with the collapse of the ship, the red fire, the screams of sopranos and chorus and the leaking steam pipes, which will serve just as well for Brünnhilde a few months hence, comes a painful conclusion. Why must opera heroes and heroines pause at crucial moments to sing? Of course, if they didn't pause there might not be any opera at all. And, as a critic was heard to observe in the Metropolitan lobby last night, opera is a temperate pleasure, anyway.

A great deal of superlative talent was packed into the cast last night. Rosa Ponselle was Selika, de Luca sang Nelusko, Gigli was the amorous and rather tactless Vasco, Adamo Didur as Don Pedro was a gorgeous figure but encountered some difficulty in keeping his voice from wavering into the rafters. Queena Mario was a stately and gracious Inez and Paolo Ananian sang his Diego very well, on the whole, with some minor faults of diction and poise. Leon Rothier, in his dual role of Inquisitor and Brahmin, walked about the stage in austere, if operatic, splendor. The ballet, for some reason, seemed to lack its customary rhythmic swing and precision, as though it had not been rehearsed too often. Tullio Serafin swung an energetic baton, but Mr. Serafin has conducted before with more success.



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