1909 Opera New York 20-03-1909 MET Concert Gala

Unsigned review in the Tribune


Whether, six kinds of cake are a better bait at twice the cost than a whole cake of a preferred sort and of equal quantity may or may not be a subject for a debate by an economic society, but it is a matter of fact and record that the mixed bill made up of parts of six operas offered at the Metropolitan Opera House last night at double prices did not at all fill the house. Nor is it probable that the medley added much to the “Pension and Endowment Fund of the Metropolitan Opera Company,” some new arrangement of the season. If it had not been proved before that an attraction of real and extraordinary merit were needed to make the public pay double price, that proof was given last night.

The bill was made up of parts of “Pagliacci,” “The Bartered Bride,” “Aida,” “Manon,” “Faust” and “Die Meistersinger,” and many of the chief artists gave their services, as well as the four conductors.

As to the evening’s entertainment itself, worth noting was the first appearance with the Metropolitan company in Manhattan of Miss Rita Fornia as Nedda in “Pagliacci.” Again this young woman showed what a useful, well drilled and competent singer she is. Carl Jörn did a hero’s duty by singing in Italian, German and French, respectively, but he added no laurels to his reputation by his decidedly theatrical interpretation of Canio in “Pagliacci.” Riccardo Martin was the Radames and Allen Hinckley the Ramfis in the triumphal scene of “Aida,” Most of the characters in the chopped up bits of the other operas were taken by familiar artists.

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