[Met Performance] CID:94770

L'Amore dei Tre Re
Metropolitan Opera House, Wed, December 29, 1926

L'Amore dei Tre Re (41)
Italo Montemezzi | Sem Benelli
Rosa Ponselle

Beniamino Gigli

Giuseppe Danise

Adamo Didur

Angelo Badà

Mary Bonetti

Young Woman
Grace Anthony

Old Woman
Henriette Wakefield

Giordano Paltrinieri

Dorothea Flexer

Tullio Serafin

Samuel Thewman

Set Designer
Mario Sala

Set Designer
Joseph Novak

Skyscrapers (7)
John Alden Carpenter
Mollie Friedenthal

Rita De Leporte

White Wings
Roger Dodge

Louis Hasselmans

John Alden Carpenter

Robert Edmond Jones

Samuel Lee

August Berger

Note: Mr. Novak designed a set for Act II of Montemezzi's opera.
L'Amore dei Tre Re received five performances this season.
Negro Group Organizer...Frank Wilson
Skyscrapers received five performances this season.
Mr. Novak designed a set for Act II of Montemezzi's opera.

Review 1:

Review of W. J. Henderson in the New York Sun

'L'Amore Dei Tre Re' Presented

Montemezzi's Opera Performed for First Time This Season at the Metropolitan

The first performance of Montemezzi's opera "L'Amore dei Tre Re" in the present season took place at the Metropolitan Opera house last evening. The return of the work to the repertory was compelled not only by its own artistic worth but also by the scarcity of recent operas commanding respect. When we speak of its return the reference is obviously to the current season, since the drama was produced here on January 14, 1914, and has been before the public ever since.

The first representation of the unhappy heroine battling between conscience and passion was Lucrezia Bori, who seemed to have been created for the role. But she was not always available, whereas the opera continued to be a necessity. Miss Muzio sang Fiora and outside the Metropolitan the inimitable Mary Garden impersonated the character. Miss Muzio was somewhat too magnificent and Miss Garden much too sophisticated.

It has been said under cover that the Spanish soprano did not desire to retain the part in her list because of its exigent demands upon her upper register. But the appearance of a new Fiora last evening may conveniently be attributed to the wish of the impresario to present the work previous to the beginning of Miss Bori's engagement for this winter. So the remorseful scarf was waved from the battlements last night by Rosa Ponselle who has, this season, demonstrated that she had no intention of permitting her art to retrogress.

Miss Ponselle's Fiora owes nothing to its predecessors; it is her win. This "little flower" is more passionate than tender. From the beginning there was a strong undercurrent of that tumultuous type of emotion which seems to be Miss Ponselle's temperamental cast. She did indeed sing the scene with Avito with poise and a well spun cantilena voicing the enforced calm. There was, however, the essential sensuousness of color which enabled her to make the contrast with the cold utterance of the lines addressed to Manfredo.

In the second act she found more scope for her bursts of tone and her excited style and she died after a stormy scene well planned and well executed. On the whole her Fiora, while not perfectly realizing the ideals set forth in the text, proved to be strong and arresting, and it will undoubtedly remain in her repertory.

Mr. Gigli's Avito is not new nor is it memorable. The popular tenor sings the music commendably, but his version of the role is lacking in virility. One cannot persuade oneself to regard the wretched Avito as a mere ladies' man, but this impersonation gives that kind of impression. As for Mr. Danise's Manfredo, it has the conspicuous merit of justifying Fiora's infidelity. Even Mr. Gigli's Avito might more perilously stir the pulse of a well born lady. Mr. Didur was once more the ancient one of the three kings and, although there was not much music in his contribution to the opera, there was the old dramatic force. And he shouldered the substantial burden of the strangled Fiora with athletic glory. The oft repeated word of praise for Mr. Bada's Flaminio must be written again.

Mr. Serafin conducted and for him laudations may be generous. Under his baton all those upward sweeps of orchestral eloquence voicing the surges of an overmastering passion had their full effect; and when it was required the instrumental delineation sank to a rich murmur of subdued emotions. It was a fine and inspiriting reading of a score which has too often been ruined by incorrect tempi and slovennesses in rhythm.

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