Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Music.

WHAT will be one of the most memorable years in the history of the Metropolitan Opera House opened November 16 with Verdi's “Ballo in Maschera" ("A Masked Ball"), making the first time that his work ever opened a season--that is, in this country. With war conditions abroad and European opera at a standstill, naturally all musical Interest will be centred in this country's musical offerings, and especially the quality of those given at the Metropolitan Opera House. In fact, it is the only place in the world to-day where opera of the highest standard is given with artists of first rank. This opera house was dedicated by Henry E. Abbey away back in 1883, just thirtytwo years ago. "Faust" was the opera and Nilsson and Campanini the artists on that occasion. The second night was given over to the début of Sembrich in "Lucla." German opera was popular under the Damrosch directorship, for six years, during which time "Tannhäuser" and "Lohengrin" were first introduced into the répertoire. In 1890 Italian opera was mounted by Stanton, and Alberto Franchetti's "Asrael" was brought out. Next came Abbey & Grau, who introduced Eames in “Romeo and Juliet," which was followed in 1893 by Calve in "Carmen." Other artists followed-Melba in “Lucia" and Eames and the de Reszkes, until Copried presented Caruso in 1903 in "Rigoletto." Farrar made her debut in "Romeo and Juliet" and Sem brich appeared with Caruso in "La Bohème." In 1906 Hammerstein came into the operatic field and produced excellent opera. Though successful from an artistic standpcint, he lost tinancially. In 1908 Gatti-Casazza appeared on the operatic horizon in New York and, beginning with Aida" on the opening night of the season that year, has engineered the destinies of the Metropolitan Opera House ever since.

There are several names added to the list of prominent singers for the current season-three sopranos, one mezzo-soprano, three tenors, two baritones and two bassos. Among the sopranos is Mme. Melanie Kurt, who for the past six years has been the dramatic soprano of the Royal Opera House in Berlin. Replacing Bella Alten is a German lyric soprano, Mme. Elisabeth Schumann, a native of Thüringen, who has a varied répertoire. Mabel Garrison, who possesses a pleasing colorature voice, is an American, having been born in Baltimore, where she studied at the Peabody Institute. The new mezzo-soprano, Mme. Raymonde Delaunnois, is a Belgian and claims Mons as her native city. She has been a popular singer in Germany for several years.

The particular Verdi opera which opened the season was brilliantly performed. Caruso, in his best voice, deserved the ovation which he received after his glorious singing of Riccardo; Emmy Destinn, as Amelia, added a new triumph to her long list, and Margarete Matzenauer was an effective Witch. In the prst scene of the last act Amato brought forth a round of applause for his excellent performance of Renato, and Andrea de Segurola showed his ability as a great character artist in the role of Samuele. Frieda Hempel had the light part of the Page. Toscanini, in his usual masterful manner, conducted.

For its second offering the management brought forward Wagner's "Lohengrin," with a new principal, Arthur Middleton, an American with a volce of good quality, as the Herald. Mme. Gadski, as Elsa, did not come up to the standard she get in her former appearances in the same rôle. Mme. Ober was vocally satisfactory and her acting convincing in the part of Ortrud, and Urius was a capital Lohengrin.

"Carmen" was again restored to the Metropolitan's répertoire, from which it had been absent for five years, on November 19. All concerned devoted much energy to its preparation. The AmerIcan soprano, Geraldine Farrar, was the heroine of Bizet's work. There was considerable curiosity as to the manner in which the rôle would be acted by this artiste, owing to the achievements of her predecessors in the rôle. Miss Farrar added new laurels to ber many successes, and was proclalmed as one of the best impersonators of the wayward Spanish girl. Caruso, who was the Don José of the last performance of the opera at this house, again assumed the role and gave an impressive portrayal. His singing was superb. Escamillo, as sung by Amato, was a delight, and Alda capably handled the character of Micaela. All the artists came in for a hearty welcome in the way of great applause. The scenes were picturesquely mounted; in fact, the whole performance was one of the most brilliant and musically excellent offerings ever heard here. To Mr. Toscanini should go the highest honors for the success of the opera's presentation, because of his artistie excellence in bringing out all the color, grace, vivacity and dramatic life of the score. Others who sang parts in this presentation were Lenora Sparkes, as Frasquita; Sophie Braslau, as Mercedes; Albert Reiss, as Dancairo; Angelo Bada, as Remendado; Léon Roshier, as Zuñiga, and Désiré. Defrère, as Morales.

*Der Rosenkavalier" was mounted November 20. It had a famlllar cast with the exception of Mme. Schumann, who appeared as Sophie, the intended bride of Baron Ochs, and disclosed a soprano voice clear, in quality and agreeable in timbre. Besides, she is also prepossessing and should

**The Magic Flute," by Mozart, commenced the second week's bill. Carl Braun gave a distinctive performance of Sarastro, and Frieda Hempel was an impressive Queen of the Night. Elisabeth Schumann made a good Papagena, though she hardly equalled the work done by Bella Alten in the same part. Tamino's music was sung by Jacques Urlus and Alfred Hertz conducted.

"Parsifal," with Johannes Sembach in the principal part and Clarence Whitehill again as the Knight of the Grail, was heard on the afternoon of November 26. The former, a new German tenor, deeply impressed his audience. This singer has been appearing for several years in opera in Dresden, though he is only in his early thirties. Mme. Matzenauer was Kundry.

Ponchielll's "La Gioconda" was the bill on November 25, under the baton of Mr. Polacco. It was an enjoyable performance that had Emmy Destinn as La Gioconda, Margarete Ober as Laura, Caruso as Enzo and Amato as Barnaba,

The night of November 26 added "Traviata” to the current list of the Opera House, with Hempel as Dunas's Lady of the Cameilias.

"Carmen" was repeated November 27, with two changes in important parts-Borl, who made a delightful Micaela, and Clarence Whitehill as Escamillo. Mabel Garrison made her initial bow with the company as Frasquita.

One of the chief novelties which will be mounted, according to present plans, during the year is "Prince Igor," a work which was left unfinished by the composer, Borodine, and completed by Rimsky-Korsakoff and Glazounoff. The story of the opera is based on a Russian legend of the barbaric times of the twelfth century. Prince Igor makes war on the Khan of Polovets, and disregarding the unfavorable omen supposed to be represented by a total eclipse, is captured by the enemy. With him is Prince Vladimir. His city of Poultivle, which has fallen into disorder, is taken by the Polovets, and Prince Igor meanwhile is given a chance to escape. Vladimir, however, refuses to accompany him because he has lallen in love with Konchakovna, daughter of the Khan. Igor returns alone to his city and is there received with honors. Another new work to be heard is "Mme. Sans-Gêne,' which is a version of Sardou's comedy set to music. Miss Farrar has been selected for the part of Mme. Sans-Gêne and Pasquale Amato wi! Impersonate Napoleon. The third novelty, which will really be a revival, is Weber's "Euryanthe," first produced at Vienna in 1825. Beethoven's "Fidelio" will be mounted in January and will be conducted by Hertz, and "Il Trovatore," with entire new scenery, will follow in February, conducted by Toscanini. Franco Leont's "L'Oracolo," & one-act

[ocr errors]

opera from Chester B. Fernald's "The Cat and the Cherub," a story of the Chinese quarter of San Francisco, is another work to be heard by New Yorkers this Winter for the first time.

CENTURY OPERA HOUSE. The Century Opera House threw open its doors for the second season of grand opera on September 14 under the management of Sargent and Milton Aborn. At the end of their last season they promised more adequate and meritorious presentations of opera than hitherto. That they have kept thefr promise is evidenced by the improved quality of the performances given so far. To begin with, the seating capacity of the opera house was increased some 1,200 seats and the plan of giving performances changed, Instead of shifting the bill weekly, with principals exchanging first rôles with each other, the management arranged to alternate the performances so as to permit ope complete set of principals to sing an opera for two weeks. Aside from this there is a new artistic director, Jacques Coini, remembered for his able stage management at the Manhattan Opera House, and who has wonderfully improved the performances in the Century. Another welcome step forward is in the line of acquiring some good English translations of librettos in foreign languages.

Among the newcomers in the company, Marcella Craft, who has had a Continental career extending over ten years, is an American, having been born in Indiana polis, Ind. She recently appeared at the Opera Royal In Munich and previously sang in Mayence and Kiel. Miss Maude Santley, who was born in the Isle of Wight, created in English the rôles of Waltraute in "Die Götterdåmmerung," and Fricka, both in "Walküre" and "Das Rheingold,"

with the Beecham Opera Come pany at Covent Garden. Louis D'Angelo, who although an Italian by birth has been in this country since he was four years old. He made his début with Henry Savage's English production of Puccini's "The Girl of the Golden West." Augusta Lenska, born in Cape Colony, is remembered for her Wage perlan rôles since her debut as Ortrud in Erfurt, Saxony, several years ago. Graham Marr, a baritone, 1s wholly American taught. He sang for the Moody-Manners Company and assumed the title role of Mendelssohn's oratorio of "Elljah" in Liverpool. He made his first appearance in America at the Century in the title part of Rossini's masterpiece, “William Tell." Bettina Freeman, a dramatie so prano born in Boston, who made her Initial bow with the Beecham Opera Company and afterward sang at Covent Garden and the Royal Court Theatre in London. Helen Stanley, to whom tell the honor of creating the role of Blanchetleur in Klenzl's "Kuhreigen" when that opera was accorded its American prémiere by the Chicago Grand Opera Company in Philadelphia two years ago. Miss Stanley, who is a Cincinnati girl, had returned to her native land after a successful career abroad. She first appeared in America in the characterization of Prince Charming in Massenet's "Cinderells." Ellen Castles, a young lyric soprano born in Australia of Irish parentage, who was heard as Musetts in "La Bohème." Alexander Smallens, born in Russia, and who was with the Boston Opera Company. Elizabeth Campbell, Canadian contralto, who, as a member of the Century Company, made her debut as Stephano the page in "Romeo and

Juliet" at the opening of the second season, September 15. From a coal miner to a star in grand opera is the accomplishment that Hardy Williamson, the lyric tenor, has attained. Although known as the Welsh tenor, Mr. Williamson was born in England and is a native of Murton, Durham County. His natal city is the centre of a mining district and his first dollars were earned by strenuous labors several hundred feet beneath the earth's surface.

The first two operas mounted were Gounod's "Romeo and Juliet, on September 14, and Bizet's "Carmen" on the following night. The proceeds of these performances were for the Red Cross War Relief Fund.

Both English librettos were written by Algernon St. John Brenon, whose work bore evidence of his scholarly and musical abilities. The title parts were taken by Lois Ewell and Orville Harrold. Both won praise as Shakespeare's immortal lovers. Henry Weldon (Hughes), son of an American Admiral and a basso of wide reputation, shared in the honors of the evening by his splendid singing of the important music of Friar Laurence, This was his initial bow to a New Yor) audience. He sang the same rôle at Hammerstein's London Opera House a few seasons ago. Then he was hailed as the best in the rôle sinee Pol Plançon, whose pupil he was. Another first appearance made at the Century on the opening pight was that of Hardy williamson, the tenor. In this performance of Gounod's work he took the minor part of Tybalt, Juliet's quarrelsome cousin. Elizabeth Campbell, also a new addition to the personnel of the company, was the Page, and Stella Riccardo was Gertrude, the Nurse. The other roles were sung by Alfred Kaufman as Capulet, Frank Mansfield as Benvolio, Gilbert Wilson as the Duke, John Mercer as Parts and George Everett as Gregorio. The baton was in the hands of Mr. Jacchia. The orchestra was ausinented by a number of musicians, chiet among them

being Hugo Riesenfeld, the former Hammer stein concert master. It showed vast improvement, as did the chorus newly trained by Josiah Zuro, another of the able Manhattan Opera House lieutenants, and which was almost entirely composed of American voices. The ballet is again under the direction of that inished artist, Luigi Albertieri. whose master, Enrico Cecchetti, founded the Russian ballets of the Czar.

The excellent presentation of Bizet's "Carmen" was in keeping with the initial effort. The or chestra, chorus and principals, as well as the staging. were uniformly at their best. Kathleen Howard and Morgan Kingoton, two favorites of last year, were the Carmen and Don José respectively. Both artists sang better than formerly, though the acting of Miss Howard could be more convincing. Myrna Sharlow, whose voice is agreeable, sang the mustc of Micaela, while Louis Kreidler triumphed in the Toreador Song of Escamillo. Others in the remaining parts were Alfred Kaufman, who effectively sang the Captain's part: George Shields. Alice Eversman, Elizabeth Campbell, Hardy Wiliamson and George Everett. Josiah Zuro made his bow as a Century conductor and deserved the highest praise for his excellent work.

For the fourth offering the Aborns brought out on September 29 Verdi's lyric drama, "La Traviata" with Lois Ewell in the title part and Morgan Kingston as Alfred Germont. During the first fortnight of opera at this house 34,956 persons purcbased tickets at the Certury. The first week's attendance was 16,167, while that of the second week was 18,789. These figures show that opera in English at popular prices has met with favor with the public.

Rossini's "William Tell," which was revived September 22, made a favorable impression on tbe audience. It is an opera in four acts. Words by Etienne Jouy, Hippolyte Bis and Armand Marast, taken from Schiller's drama. English version by Natalie Maclarren. While the first act went slowly. Lols Ewell and Orville Harroid fully made up for it in their rendering of the lovers' duet in the second act.

The whole performance was excellent and the artists were in good voice. Hardy WIiamson sang the Fisherman's air, Kaufman was Gessler, Louis Kreidler was William Tell and Kathleen Howard was Hedwiga.

The début of a singer new in this city and the revival of the popular "Tales of Hoffmann," by Offenbach, were the chief features of the Century Opera House on November 3: The debutante of the occasion was Miss Florence Macbeth. an American colorature soprano, who last season was a member of the Chicago company and who shared honors with Titts Ruffo, the great Italian baritone, when she sang Guda to his Rigoletto in Chicago, Philadelphia and the cities visited by that organi zation. Miss Macbeth hails from the Middle West.

She proved an admirable addition to the singers, in the part of the mechanical doul, and was warmly received. Bettina Freeman as Giulietta and Lois Ewell as Antonia, were in splendid voice, while Kathleen Howard was Nicklaus, one of her best rôles. Louis Kreidler, in the triple rôle of the evil geniuses of Hoffmann, gave a good account of himsell. Under the able conductorship of Josiah Zuro the chorus and orchestra were entirely

satisfactory. Alternating with this opera wag "La Bohème," with Helen Stanley as Mimi, Morgan Kingston as Rudolph, Thomas Chalmers as Marcel, Henry Weldon as Colline and Louis 'd'Angelo as Schaunard. All the rôles were well handled and the opera was well mounted.

It may be recalled that the previous year's attempt at Wagnerian opera was a sad fallure. However, the company retrieved itself on October 6 with an excellent performance of Lohengrin." All the chief rôles were well sung and the orchestra, under Ernest Knoch, who made his first appearance at this house on this occasion, deserved warm praise. Bettina Freeman enunciated clearly and used her voice with discretion. Ortrud was not so capably handled by Augusta Lenska. The Lohengrin of Morgan Kingston was among the best performances that he had done so far.

Wolf-Ferrari's The Jewels of the Madonna" was added to the list of operas October 20. Gustav Bergman was warmly received on his return to the company on this occasion. He gave a fine characterization of the devout blacksmith, Lois Ewell deserves high praise for her singing of the big song in Act II. and Louis Kreidler was in splendid voice throughout the entire performance.

The staging was artistically accomplished under the directorship of Jacques Coini, and Mr. Makalif and Mile. Rasch were delightful in their dance in the Camorrists' den.

The last week of the Fall season began November 10 with "Aida," an elaborate offering. The English libretto was well put together and understandable. Miss Ewell impressed her audience with her sympathetic and appealing performance. Mr. Kingston's Rhadames was a great improvement over his singing of the same part last year.

The Zuro Opera Company began a season of grand opera at the Grand Theatre in May. They gave splendid performances of "Pagliacci" and "Cavalleria Rusticana" in the afternoon of May 10, and "Aida" in the evening. In the second named work Miss Baroness made her initial appearance with the company as Santuzza. Charlotte Lund, who had been singing in concert, was the Nedda in, “Pagliacci," and A. Antola, an excellent baritone, delighted his audience by his splendid singing of the Prologue. Aida" was well mounted. Miss Andreani, an eighteen-year-old prima donna, was Aida. Signor Cecotti ably sang the music of Rhadames, Emma Careli was Amneris and Alessandro Modesti sang Amonasro effectively. The others in the cast were Messrs. Anzeloni, Nemo and Giuliani and Miss Hays. Ignacio de Castillo conducted all three performances, On May 11 "Faust" was presented with P. Sinagra in the title part and Mme. Zavaschi as Marguerite. P. Bayron admirably handled the part of Mephistopheles and Antola was the Valentine. Alice Gentle, who appeared several years ago at the Manhattan Opera House, sang the music of Azucena in "Il Trovatore,' She also was heard as the Page in "The Huguenots." Miss Gentle gave an excellent characterization of the name part in "Carmen," and her singing as well as acting was admirable. Other works mounted by this company were "Thais," "The Tales of Hoffmann," "Lucia" and "Traviata."

Mr. Andreas Dippel's plan to give opera-comique in New York City met with favor when he presented his first offering, “The Lilac Domino," at the Forty-fourth Street Theatre, October 19. Mr. Dippel intends to give New York a season of opera-comique such as has never been equalled in Europe or America. "The Lilac Domino'' was composed by Charles Cuvillier, who was called to the front for France and was with the forces near Verdun; book and lyrics are by Emerich von Gatti and Bela Zenbach; English adaptation by Harry B. Smith; English lyrics by Robert B. Smith. The book, which really has merit, concerns to loss at cards of the fortunes of three young men who decided that the only way out of the lineuity was that one of the number marry an heiress, the heiress hunter to be chosen by the result of a hande of dice. Count Andre de St. Armand throws the high number. He falls in love at a maskel ball with a girl who wears a llac domino, Georgine, daughter of Vicomte de Brissac and wealthy, and whom he intends to marry according to his agreement with his friends. But Georgine, hearing of the dice game and believing that Andre only wants her for her money, dismisses him, though she herself is in love with him. His efforts to re-establish himself in her good graces furnish the love motif of the piece.

The scenes are laid in Nice during the carnival season. There is a pretty intermezzo depicting the life along the Riviera, and colored moving pictures show the carnival episodes while this piece is being played. Throughout the work are scattered twenty musical numbers, the principal one being a delightful waltz.

This production introduced to New York several singers of unusual talent. Eleanor Painter, from the new Deutsches Opera House in Berlin, where she made her debut as Madame Butterfly, and where she continued for two years, was born in Walkerville, Ia., just twenty-five years ago. Miss Painter was charming in the character of Georgine. Besides acting admirably, she has a voice of birdlike sweetness. Especially well rendered was the duet with the baritone in the second act, "What Is Done You Never Can Undo." Wilfrid Douthitt, who was chosen to take the part of the Count, is a splendid baritone, regarded in England, where he was born in 1888, as the successor to Santley. When the first performance of "Parsifal" was given in England Mr. Douthitt was the soloist, and he also enjoys the distinction of being the only male singer who ever appeared as the princlpal boy in pantomime at the Drury Lane Theatre, the part on all other occasions having been sung by a girl. Alternating with the principals mentioned are Mabel Riegelman, who has been singing with the Chicago Opera Company, and George Everett, late of the Boston Opera Company. Other members of the cast are the Metropolitan singer Jeanne Maubourg, & Danish artist of ability; Einar Linden and James Harrod, as alternate tenors; George Cutzon, René Dettling, as well as John E. Hazzard, Robert O'Connor and Harry Hermsen in comedy rôles.

Mr. Dippel's organization will remain at the Forty-fourth Street Theatre until the first of February, when it will move to the Century Opera House.

Here, in conjunction with the Pavlowa Ballet Company, "La Reginetta delle Rose" will be heard on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday evenings and at Saturday matinées. Wednesday matinées and Friday nights are to be reserved for ballet performances by Mlle. Pavlowa and ber company.

Tuesday evenings Mr. Dippel plans to devote to revivals of old operettas, which will be repeated at Thursday matinées, when popular prices, 25c. to 81, will rule. The operettas to be revived will be selected from the following works: "Don Caesar, "Manon, " "Mamselle Nitouche," "Erminie," "Chimes of Normandy, Boccaccio," "Madame Angot.' *The Beggar Student," "Gasperone,' "Giroflé-Girofla," "Fatinitza, "Gypsy Baron," "The Merry War," "A Night in Venice" and "The Queen's Lace Handkerchier.'

Special subscriptions will be opened for these performances, and Mile. Pavlowa and her ballet will also be given as a subscription series, and the programme will be changed at every performance.

The American composer Horatio Parker, and the librettist Brian Hooker, duplicated their winning of the $10,000 prize for their opera "Mona" by being awarded a like a mount for their opera "Fairyland," by the National Federation of Musical Clubs. This sum was offered for the best grand opera written in English. The production will be made in Los Angeles next Summer.

“Madame Butterfly" ushered in the third week of the present season at the Metropolitan Opera House. Martinelli sang the music of Pinkerton and Geraldine Farrar was Cho-Cho-San.

"Boris Godunofl' has become one of the firmly established works of the Metropolitan Company since its introduction two years ago. November 28 it was given for the first time in the present season It had a familiar cast with few exceptions. Miss Raymonde Delaunnois, the few mezzo-soprano, sang the music of the boy Theodore admirably. Mr. Toscanini conducted.

The alternoon of December 5 was given over to the double bill, *Cavalleria Rusticana" and “Pagliacci." In the former opera Lucca Botta, who made a great success in “Oberon" in Colon last

year, appeared for the first time at this house as Turiddu and made a favorable impression. Riccardo Teganni, another newcomer and who is an Itallan baritone who enjoyed popularity in Italy, Spala and South America, was Alfo.

Interest centred on November 23 in a performance of Mozart's "Die Zauberflote," which was glven last year: Miss Hempel's singing of the two airs of the Queen of the Night" was delightful, and Carl Braun and Emmy Destinn, Otto Goritz and Albert Reiss were all in good voice. Miss Elisabeth Schumann had the role of Papagena for the first time in New York and she sang the music enarmIngly. Mr. Hertz conducted. At this opera's second performance the feature was the Orst appear. ance as Tamino of the new tenor, Johannes Sembach. The lyric quality of this singer's voice is admirably suited to the music of that role. He made a deep Impression on his hearers last Spring. when he sang in “Parsifal" and "Die Meistersinger" in Paris.

Wagner's love drama, "Tristan und Isolde," was heard December 3. Mme. Gadski was Isolde, which is by no means her best rôle. Mme. Matzenauer was an unsatisfactory Bragaene.

Two other new additions to the list of artists at the Metropolitan are Sivio Burkenroad, an Amer. can with an excellent baritone voice, and Max Bloch, a German light tenor, who sings he music of such rôles as Mime and David.

Chicago-The Arst performance in Chicago of Février's "Monna Vanna" was given on January 28 and received a cordial welcome. All the singers were in excellent voice, and Mr. Campanial read the_dimcult score in a masterly manner. In the cast were Mary Garden in the title rôle, Muratore as Prinzivulle, Marcoux as Guido, and Huberdeau as Marco.

Frieda Hempel made her début with the local company as Violetta in "La Traviata." Giordano's "Fedora" was cordially received by a large audience when added to the répertoire of Chicago opera on January 7. Campanini conducted the brilliant performance. Bellini's almost forgotten work. "La Sonnambula," was given on January 15.

The Century Opera Company started a four months' tour in this city November 23 with "Alda" at the Auditorium. The second evening "Madama Butterfly" was the bill with Lois Ewell as ChoCho-San. "Carmen" was heard November 25. Kathleen Howard was the cigarette girl, Florence Macbeth the peasant Micaela, Eileen Castles was Frasquita, Gustav Bergman was Don José, and Graham Marr was Escamillo.

Cleveland -Two weeks of opera were given at the Metropolltan Theatre by the San Carlos Company under the inanagement of Helen De Kay Townsend, in October. The répertoire consisted of "Lucia," "Traviata," "Faust, "Tales of Hoffmann," "Carmen," "Rigoletto," "Ballo in Maschero," Cavalleria Rusticana," and “Pagliacci."

Philadelphia ---For the Arst time in America, Vittorio Gnecchi's opera, “Cassandra," sa mounted at the Metropolitan Opera House on February 26. The libretto was by Luigi Illica. "Cassandra" is an old tale of unhappiness and murder, and, although the music displays able work. manship. the opera on a whole did not create any marked impression. The events of the opera take place previous to the story of "Elektra" and might be considered as a sort of prelude to Richard Strauss's work. The story is introduced by a prologue sung by a baritone who appears in the courtyard of the royal palace of King Agamemnon, for whose si le return from Troy maidens are singing to the gods. There is a scene between the faithless Queei Klytemnestra and her lover, Acgistbus and the triumphant return of the King. Klytemnestra arows her constancy to the King, but is denounced by Cassandra. Klytemnestra murders her husband. Cassandra calls upon Orestes. the son of the King, for vengeance. Charles Dalmores was an imposing Agamemnon. Polese was heard as Aegisthus, Julia Claussen was Cassandra, Rosa Raisa was the Queen, while Francisco Federici sang the prologue.

Boston-Felice Lyne, the Kansas City, Mo., girl who won fame when she appeared at Hammerstein's Opera House in London, sang in opera for the first time in the United States at the Boston Opera House on March 20. She appeared in the same rôle which introduced her to the London audience. Gilda, in "Rigoletto.

Kansas City, Mo.-The Chicago Grand Opera Company presented "Rigoletto" on April 10 with Polese as the Jester, Florence Macbeth as Gilda, and Giorgini as the Duke. At the matinée on the same date Mary Garden appeared in her famous rôle of "Le Jongleur de Notre Dame." "Parsifal"' was heard on April 12.

St. Paul-The season in St. Paul consisted of six oper38, beginning with "Rigoletto," with Florence Macbeth as Gilda, Titto Ruffo as the Jester, Giorgini as the Duke, Huberdeau as Sparsfucile, Beatrice Wheeler as Maddalena, Louise Berat as Giovanna, and Nicolay as Monterone. Massenet's "Manon" was the second work heard. Alice Zeppilli sang the title rôle, Hector Dutranne was Lescaut. and Campagnola was the Des Grieux. The other operas given were "La Bohème." with Rosa Raisa; "Cavalleria Rusticana" and "Pagliacci," with Titto Ruffo as Tonio, Bassi 29 Canio, and Alice Zeppilli as Nedda. In "Cavalleria Rosa Raisa was Santuzza. The season ended with "Parsifal."

Havana, Cuba-Marie Barrientos, a famous colorature soprano, gave a brief season at the Gran Teatro del Politeama in April. Among the works she appeared in were "The Barber," "Lucia," "Linda de Chamounix," Dinorah," "Mignon," "Rigoletto," "Bohème," "Elisir d'Amore," and "Sonnambula,

Seattle-seattle has her own Standard Opera Company, which began its prst season on April 20 with a performance of "Carmen." Romayn Jansen was Carmen and Neal Begley was José.

Des Moines, Ia.-The Chicago Opera Company visited Des Moines, Ia., in April and presented Mary Garden in "Thais." Mr. Dusranne and Mr. Campanini shared the honors on the occasion.

St. Louis, Mo.-A defcit of $2,500 was the result of the season of opera, which closed April 18 with “Tosca" in the afternoon with Miss Garden, and "Aida" in the evening with Julia Claussen as Amneris, Carolina White as Alda, and Bassi in the role of Rhadames.

The evening of November 14 ushered in a season of popular priced opera by the San Carlo Opera Company under the directorship of Fortune Gallo at the Odeon. "Rigoletto," with Florencio Constantino as the Duke, Antola, a fine baritone, as Rigoletto, and Edviga Vaccari as Gilda, was the first offering. The following night the company sang "Lucia" at Alton, Ill, *Cavalleria Rusticana" and "Pagliacci" was the bill on November 16. In the former Esther Adaberto ang Santuzza, Stella De Mette, a contralto formerly with the Metropolitan Opera House, was Lola. In "Pagliacci" Antola gave a splendid performance of Tonio. Among the other works rendered were “The Barber of Seville" and "Traviata." In the latter Regina Viccarino was. Violetta, Agostini was Alfredo, and Modesti was Glorglo. 'Aida," "The Tales of Hoffmann," and "Carmen were also given.

Atlanta, Ga.-The nith season of grand opera by the Metropolitan Company was a great success. It opened with Massenet's "Manon," with Caruso, Farrar, and Gilly in the principal parts. Other works given were “Il Trovatore," "Der Rosenkavalier," "Un Ballo in Maschera." "Madama Butterfly,' "Lohengrin," "Cavalleria Rusticana," and 'Pagliacci." The attendance at the performances reached the total of 37.259, while the receipts were nearly $100.000.

New Orleans --For the first time in America Bizet's "L'Arlesienne" and Saint-Saen's 'Phryne" were given in February.

Rome-A new work by Mascagni. "Parisina," was mounted at the Costanzi in March. was Arst heard in Milan three months previously. While the principals in the opera were well chosen,

"Parisina" did not meet with any degree of success. The title role was taken by Mme. Lina Pasinil Vitall, Lazzaro was Ugo, Sammarco was Nicholas d'Este, and Elvira Casazza was Stella deAssassino. "Parsifal" was given for the first time in Italy at Rome and Bologna on January 1.

Milan-Twenty-two performances of "Parsifal" were given at La Scala, with Seratin as conductor. Ponchielli's opera, "I Meri di Valenza." was given in July and met with a fair amount of success.

Turin-A new opera, entitled "Finlandea," llbretto by Alberto Calantuoni and music by Emerede Francassi, was staged at the Regio Theatre.

Monte Carlo-The last opera written by Massenet, entitled "Cleopatre," had its initial presentation in February. Louis Payen wrote the libretto. The principal roles were sung by Mme. Kousnetzoft, the Russian soprano, as Cleopatre, M. Maguenat as Marc Antony, and Lillian Grenville as Octavia.

Berlin-On September 28 Engelbert Humperdinck's opera, “Die Markentenderin," was heard at the Deutsches Theatre, Charlottenburg,

with Adolf Kleln as' Blücher and Bertha Stolzenberg as the vivandlere.

COVENT GARDEN. During the season at Covent Garden, which closed in July, Mme. Edvina created two new'rôles. one being that of Fiora in "L'Amore dei Tre Rei," by Montemezzi, and the other Francesca in Zan. donal's Francisca da Rimini," In the latter opera Martinelli sang the principal male rôle and Signor Cigada was Giovanni. Another feature of the season was the revival of Verdi's "Falstaff," with Polacco as conductor. There were 86 performances of opera given. Verdi's and Puccini's works ranked first with 21 performances, and Wagner second with 18.

On July 4 Sir Beecham brought out at the Drury Lane Josef Holbrook's music-drama "Dylan." Edmund Burke sang the music of the Sea King. Among the other works Beecham mounted were Rosenkavalier," "Die Zauberflote,". "Boris Godunoff," "Ivan the Terrible" and "Prince Igor."

John McCormack impersonated Faust in the second performance of Bolto's "Menstorele. Claudia Muzio was Marguerite. Mozart's "Nozze di Figaro" was revived after four years' absence *Irom the repertoire. Rosa Raisa was the Countess, Alice Zeppilli was Susanne, Louise Berat was Marcelline and Maggie Teyte was Cherubino.

The following is a review of the season 1913-14 continued from the 1914 ALMANAC:

On February 5 a new tenor, Rudolf Berger, from the Berlin Royal Opera, made his initial American bow as Siegmund in "Die Walküre." Mr. Berger, who was formerly a baritone, pleased his listeners with his big, vibrant voice. But on February 14 this new tenor was very disappointing when he sang Tristan in the great love music drama "Tristan und Isolde.

A new Siegfried and a new Wanderer in the persons of Carl Jörn and Carl Braun respectively created added interest to the third music drama of the "Nibelungen Ring' on February 12. Both artists gave praiseworthy impersonations of their rôles, and their singing was creditable.

of the new operas heard, Montemezzi's (1886) "L'Amore dei Tre Re" ("The Love of Three Kings"), mounted on January 2, was the most praiseworthy. The young composer furnished an original score of great merit for Sem Benelli's admirable libretto. This opera was successfully produced a year previous in Milan. The story is laid in the Middle Ages. After a barbarian invasion of a principality of Italy, Altura, the leader of the invaders, Archibaldo, who has become blind, forced a marriage between his son, Manfredo, and a young Princess, Fiora, of the conquered inhabitants of Altura. She was betrothed in childhood to Avito, a Prince of her own province. In the absence of Manfredo, who is away subduing the Alturlans, Avito is welcomed and kept by Fiora in secret. Archibaldo, knowing his son loves her, is incensed at her faithlessness and chokes her to death. He then puts poison on the dead Fiora's lips to discover on whom she bestowed her favors. Avito visits the crypt, kisses Fiora and dies, but not until he tells Manfredo the truth. The latter also kisses the poisoned lips, and he too meets death.

This work shows the young composer's understanding of operatic technique, dramatic art, and the needs of the voice. The music throughout is free from the style of the present Italian operas. The composer's individuality and his seeking for melodic beauty stamp his score throughout.

А notable feature of the occasion was the appearance for the first time at the Metropolitan of Edoardo Ferrari-Fontana. As Avito he displayed to advantage his splendid dramatic tenor voice, which is especially resonant in the upper ranges. Lucrezia Bori, in addition to her beautiful singing, disclosed added capabilities as a tragedienne. Mr. Didur enacted the blind King with dramatic force and power. Amato skilfully sang the part of Manfredo. He was in glorious voice. Mr. Toscanini brought out in a masterly manner all the beauties of the score.

English opera was given another opportunity by the Metropolitan Company when "Madeleine,' a one-act opera in English by Victor Herbert, had its first performance on the afternoon of January 24. The libretto of “Madeleine" is by Grant Stewart, an actor-playwright, and is taken from a short French play by A. Decourcelles and L. Thiboust. The story, which unfolds itself in an hour, takes place on New Year's Day in Paris about 1760. The scene is laid in the salon of Madeleine Fleury, a favorite prima donna of the time. She invites Chevalier de Mauprat to dine with her. but he declines because of a previous engagement with his mother. Then the Duc d'Esterre arrives, and after receiving a similar invitation he refuses because he also has to dine with his mother. His refusal piques Madeleine and she writes an invitation to his rival, De Fontanges. The latter too refuses, owing to his promise to dine with his mother. Finally Madeleine turns to her maid, Nichette who also declines for the same reason. Thoroughly chagrined, Madeleine gives way to a burst of hysterical weeping, which is interrupted by the arrival of Didier, a poor portrait painter. He brings with him a portrait of Madeleine's mother which he has been renovating. Didier invites the diva to dine with his mother, but she declines. Placing the picture of her own mother on the table before her, she gazes on it. As she does so a ray of sunshine lights up the face, and Madeleine is content that she too is "dining with her mother.' The work, though it contains several captivating arias, was very disappointing. The music is not appropriate to the theme of the moment and is not apt to add any new laurels to the reputation of its composer. Frances Alda made a charming MadeJeine and Lenora Sparks deserved praise for her delightful singing of Nichette. Paul Althouse made an admirable Chevalier de Mauprat and his enunciation was good. Polacco conducted.

For Its French opera novelty the Metropolitan was indebted to the allied Chicago-Philadelphia Company, who presented on February 3 Jules Massenet's "Don Quichotte." The story is taken from the "Don Quixote" of Cervantes, the great Spanish novelist. This opera was given for the first time in America in New Orleans on January 30, 1912. The score contains a melodious prelude to the fifth act, a delightfu intermezzo before the lost scene in the same act, and some sympathetic passages in the death of Don Quixote. But aside from these there is nothing of great musical import in the whole work. Mr. Campanini brought out all there was of value in the score by his able conducting. Vanni Marcoux, a baritone who on this occasion made his first appearance in New York, was an effective actor in the title rôle, though his singing left much to be desired. Mary Garden had a role in Dulcinea that did not seem suitable to her. The Sancho Panza of Hector Dusranne was appealing. He sang with all the power and beauty of his voice.

As the second novelty, the Chicago-Philadelphia Company brought out Henri Fevrier's version of Maeterlinck's “Monna Vanna" on February 17. It could not be said that the music of the new work made any marked impression. The scene of "Monna Vanna" is laid in Pisa in the afteenth

« ZurückWeiter »