[Met Performance] CID:101710

Metropolitan Opera House, Sat, March 2, 1929

Review 1:

Review of Francis D. Perkins in the New York Tribune

Certain Mishap in 'Tosca' Injures the Tenor-Hero

Tokatyan, Bowing to Applause, Is Hit on Head and Nose Bleeds

"Tosca" was last night's popular-priced offering at the Metropolitan Opera House where Armand Tokatyan, the Cavaradossi of the evening, had to suffer not only the various stage woes allotted that hapless painter in the libretto, but a more palpable mishap when the prematurely-descending curtain landed on his head as he was taking bows at the end of the second act. This caused a serve nosebleed, but it was halted during the intermission and the tenor finished his role without further misfortune other than his scheduled stage death.

The Tosca was to have been Florence Easton, but, as she was indisposed, Leonora Corona made her second appearance as the Sardou-Puccini heroine giving an effective and emotional performance, strong voiced if not always smooth voiced. For the first time in years the Scarpia was not Mr. Scotti, but Mr. Danise, who has sung the role at Ravinia, though not previously in this house. He sang his part commendably and was satisfactorily nefarious as the Roman police head, while a rather heavier less polished villain than Mr. Scotti's historic Scarpia. It was said that the only other time during Mr. Gatti's regime when Scarpia was sung by a baritone other than Mr. Scotti was one performance many years ago with Pasquale Amato in the role.

Miss Flexer and Messrs. Cehanovsky, Malatesta, Paltrinieri and Reschiglian completed the cast and Mr. Bellezza conducted.

Review 2:

Review in the New York Telegram

New 'Tosca' Cast

A new Scarpia sat solitary at his dinner Saturday night, when "Tosca" was sung at the Metropolitan Opera House. A new police chief assailed the honor of Floria Tosca, the singer. Strangely he looked and sounded to the old-timers of the institution, for he was the first man to usurp the role, associated for more than a quarter of a century with Antonio Scotti.

Danise wore the habiliments of the Baron Scarpia, and although he did a highly meritorious piece of work, it just did not satisfy. The old man, himself, was not there. Not the sleek, wolf-like sensualist, sparing of motion, sparing of speech, terse, tight, unmovable, was this Scarpia, with his laughter, his stolen kisses, his caressing. It was, as I have said, a meritorious performance, but it will probably be impossible ever to forget Scotti, even if a more thrilling vocalization of the role than Danise gave it, appears. But Danise deserves to be heard in the characterization again.

A very new cast was on hand. Armand Tokatyan had his chance to sing Mario, and did it movingly. He, too, earned the right to do it again.

Florence Easton had been announced to sing the name part, but Leonora Corona was a last minute substitute. The American girl made a stunning picture, and acted the last scene (on the parapet) very well, and the second act (in the quarters of Scarpia) fairly well. Why she should have been so perverse to use a long train in her costume of that act, only an expert on the whims of prima donnas could understand. Here she wanted to have nothing in her way; it is awkward enough when a large lady wrestles with a not small gentleman, in grand opera. Somebody ought to urge Miss Corona to limit the loud notes a trifle.

Several mishaps occurred; Corona took too long lighting the candles and "lay out" Scarpia; also the curtain dropped too soon, spoiling the exit of the second act. The curtain fell on Tokatyan's head, drawing blood from his nose.

Mr. Bellezza conducted spiritedly; in fact the orchestra was so loud in parts of the second act, that the voices could not be heard.

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