[Met Performance] CID:97380
La Bohème {249} American Academy of Music, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 11/29/1927.

(Review)


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
November 29, 1927


LA BOHÈME {249}

Mimì....................Frances Alda
Rodolfo.................Beniamino Gigli
Musetta.................Editha Fleischer
Marcello................Giuseppe Danise
Schaunard...............Adamo Didur
Colline.................Léon Rothier
Benoit..................Paolo Ananian
Alcindoro...............Paolo Ananian
Parpignol...............Max Altglass
Sergeant................Vincenzo Reschiglian

Conductor...............Vincenzo Bellezza

Review of Linton Martin in the Philadelphia Inquirer

GIGLI AND ALDA ARE AT BEST IN 'BOHÈME'

Puccini Favorite Pleasingly Presented by Metropolitan Company in Academy

Illness of Scotti Compels Eleventh-Hour Change in Cast; a New Musetta

Any element of novelty has long since evaporated from "La Bohème." But its wistful charm, it persuasive piquancy and its compound of pathos and poetic appeal have made many admirers consider it Puccini's most spontaneous work, and it is always assured a warm welcome, at least when presented as competently as it was at the Academy of Music last night by a cast headed by Beniamino Gigli and Frances Alda, even if the general level of the occasion did not reach some memorable occasions of the past.

The unexpected absence, because of illness, of the redoubtable Antonio Scotti from his usual role of Marcello - which he has made almost as individual in its way as his Scarpia, Chim-Fang, or Sharpless are in theirs - narrowed the honors of the evening rather sharply to Mr. Gigli and Madame Alda. For Mr. Gigli sang "Rodolfo's Narrative" and the rest of the ingratiating music with the beauty of tone and finished effect that he alone has been able to bring to the part since the passing of Caruso; as for Madame Alda, she has returned from her protracted tour of her native New Zealand and Australia, with her tones fresher and firmer than they have been for seasons, contributing pleasurable surprise to the performance, although her characterization of Mimi has long been familiar here. (Note: More Antipodean tours for prima donnas!)

Giuseppe Danise, substituting for Mr. Scotti, as Marcello, made precisely no impression in the part which Scotti makes so zestful and amusing. Indeed, Mr. Danise seemed so much more enamored of the conductor than of Musetta in the Café Momus scene, that that vixenish vamp must have suspected at least his sincerity. In that, and the later scene, it was a purely perfunctory performance that Mr. Danise gave, and the singing, while satisfactory, had no distinction.

Editha Fleischer wasn't exactly the ideal Musetta in appearance, but she sang with amplitude of tone, and gave the conscionceless coquette more human warmth than is customarily the case.

Leon Rothier's big bass gave prominence to Colline's so-called "Song to the Coat." Adamo Didur made a successful Schaunard, while Paolo Ananian, Max Altglass, and Vincenzo Reschiglian sang the remaining roles with energy, but little shading.



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