[Met Performance] CID:98530
L'Amore dei Tre Re {47} American Academy of Music, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 02/21/1928.

(Review)


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
February 21, 1928


L'AMORE DEI TRE RE {47}

Fiora...................Florence Easton
Avito...................Edward Johnson
Manfredo................Lawrence Tibbett
Archibaldo..............Léon Rothier
Flaminio................Angelo Badà
Maid....................Mary Bonetti
Young Woman.............Mildred Parisette
Old Woman...............Dorothea Flexer
Youth...................Giordano Paltrinieri
Shepherd................Dorothea Flexer

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

Review (unsigned) in the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin

METROPOLITAN OPERA

'L'Amore Dei Tre Re' Well Received at Academy of Music

America's delegation, in that Musical League of Nations known as the Metropolitan Opera Company, occupied the center of the stage in the presentation of the grim operatic tragedy "L'Amore Dei Tre Re" ("The Love of Three Kings") at the Academy of Music last night.

Lawrence Tibbett, heard here in recital not long ago, had the baritone role of Manfredo, the unfortunate husband whose wife loves some one else; Edward Johnson was cast in the tenor role of Prince Avito, the lover, and Florence Easton was the incandescent Fiora. The fourth of the principal roles, that of the old blind king Archibaldo, who strangles Fiora when he learns she has been unfaithful to his son, was sung by Leon Rothier, French by birth but American by association at least.

Montemezzi's music to the poetic libretto of Sem Benelli is extremely difficult to sing, not only because of the vocal histrionics that are called for, but by reason of the manner in which the instruments and voices are woven together so as to make all tonal or rhythmic eccentricities well-nigh fatal.

Rothier's conception of the part of the old king was evidently based on the first act aria "Italia, Italia, e tutto il moi ricordo" ("Italy, Italy is all that I remember"). Into his rich basso he brought the full measure of longing and hopelessness that the words of Archibaldo imply. He was effective in the [beginning] scene with his daughter-in-law and his cry of thanks for his blindness, which end the first act was poignant with grief.

Tibbett's full and rounded voice was excellent generally in the part of Manfredo, but he failed to get into his singing the sense of shock and horror with which the Prince learns Fiora has been strangled by Archibaldo. It was possibly Tibbett's determination to hold to the Italian tradition of sacrificing dramatic effect when it threatens the lyric purity of the music. There are many, judging by the applause, who approved his method. Edward Johnson sang with sincerity and good voice, particularly in the second act love duet with Fiora, undoubtedly the high point of the whole opera. There were moments when he required the aid of the prompter and this detracted somewhat from his full effectiveness.

Florence Easton was in good voice and sang with genuine dramatic fire and passion. She rose to great heights in the second act duet with Avito and the subsequent scene with the enraged Archibaldo. Her death cries may be considered, by some, to be a little overdone. One does not generally shriek fortissimo while being throttled.

Tullio Serafin's reading of the music was splendidly paced and his control over the various instrumental sections was admirable. The orchestra, indeed, was it its best, particularly during the second and [start] of the third acts. The chorus likewise distinguished itself and the offstage singing of the third act was remarkable for the precision of pitch.



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