Manager / Director:
Antonio L. Mora
Antonio L. Mora
30 November 2015
“Il Trovatore was given for the third time last evening at the French theatre by Signor Mora’s Italian Opera company. The house was pretty well filled, and the boxes resplendent with beauty and gay toilets. The performance was even better than last week, with the exception of the chorus alone. Mlle. Naddi, Miss Phillips and Signori Irfre and Fortuna formed a quartette which it would be difficult to equal in opera elsewhere; and Leonora, the gypsy mother, the luckless troubadour and the relentless count were all received with the most enthusiastic applause. To the rendering of their respective rôles they were obliged to add the pleasing task of gathering the bouquets thrown by their admirers. The orchestra was admirably conducted by Signor Mora, and gave the delicious, florid, dramatic Verdian instrumentation with delicacy and proper expression.”
“Once in a while, we cannot say how long, the most habitual of opera-goers is content, if not glad, to have Il Trovatore repeated. Reasons for this are plenty as blackberries. The despairing Troubadour is an operatic first [?] an old flame and furore; and if ever he dies out of the musical mind he dies as hard as he did in the romantic tower, consecrated to the beautiful anguish of that mortal ditty—[‘Sconic col sangui mio l’amorche [?] in te?] The Troubadour is likely to remain as popular in opera itself, since it has so much to delight and agitate the romance of youth—plenty of melodies, storms of passion, charms of attitude, and situation, heroism in the ‘Eroles vein,’ and a general mood of copper-colored and lurid tragedy. Then, there is no doubt that such music has a certain strength of its own. In fact, there is no merely theatrical music like it. Everything in it is contrived for irresistible and instant effect. There is no end to pretty cavatinas, brave arias, and roaring choruses. Much as Trovatore is sung, and slightingly as it is sometimes regarded, it is, after all, Verdi’s masterpiece, than which none of his other works represent the general character of his invention, so well. Like all the rest of the Italian school, his works are thriftlessly expensive as to melody. The melody is not always cordially prized by admirers of the Italianized Meyerbeer; but can any one imagine a piece of stage-music stronger and finer in its way than the whole of that hackneyed Miserere scene in the Troubadour?
To make the repetition of Il Trovatore altogether welcome for an accustomed hearer, needed such an earnest performance as Sig. Mora’s troupe at the French theater gave us lately. It was in effect a brilliant success, and the new manager has at last won respectable spurs. Miss Phillips’s Azucena is the best we have, and fully justified the hearty plaudits that met her re-inspiration of a stock character. Excellent too, was Mlle. Naddi’s Leonora, and Irfre’s stagey, but energetic Manrico. Mlle. Naddi has appeared in French, German, and Italian Opera, and always with a success due more to her impassioned feeling and expression than to any great vocal power, though her culture as a singer is meritorious and considerable. The popular appreciation of Monday night’s performance was testified by frequent bravos and bouquets, some of which absurdly interrupted the scene. It might also be said that Azucena and Leonora died with bouquets in their hands. It is certain that there was a jail delivery before Manrico went to execution, the audience insisting that he should appear and bow for ‘agonizing’ so well in the Miserere scene. All this is customary, but better honored in the breach than in the observance. The success of Tuesday night’s Trovatore promises a good performance of Martha this evening.”