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Labyrinth Return To Heaven Denied Rar ((FULL))

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A FINANCIALLY PROFITABLE SEASONAn Un-American American Opera by Puccini Given at the MetropolitanCHAPTER XIIIBy H. E. KrehbielfCosomtm. 1918. oy H. . KrehUieL ;THE twenty-sixth season opera at the MetropolitaOpera House, which began oNovember 14, 1910, and endeon April 15, 10.11, waa the first in whicSignor Gatti was sole manager de juris well a3 de facto, and also the firin which he was untrammelled by thrivalry of Mr. Hammerstein and unvexed by unseemly scandal. The feveof'expansion had been allayed, andbecoming modesty characterized thannouncements in the prospectus. Thperformances at the New Theatre anthe Baltimore enterprise were abanoned. and the Philadelphia represen'ations limited te. ei;;bt, tbe needs othat city in the latter half of the seaon being supplied by the corhpan;with an Invertible title-.'hcago-PhiIdelphia in the West and Philadelphia1 hicago in the East. The force wer'herefore reduced fully one-half, iw new singen, were added to th>local roster and a promise of signiiiant help held out by reason of th;-(filiation -with the Chicago and Boion organizations. The newcomers ii'he Metropolitan list Whose nameproved worthy of record wore foumen: Dimit.ri Smirnoff, tenor; Leorilothicr. William Hinahaw mid Basiiiuysdael, basses. It was said that oi he Chicago company Nellie Melba(ohn McCorniack and Maurice Renauiwould occasionally be drawn into thperformances of the Metropolita!ompany, and of the Boston organizaHen Lydia Lipkowska, Carmen Melis\lice Nielsen, sopranos; KlurenciConstantino, tenor, and George Baklanoff, barytone. The value of the affilation provrd to be negligibleMme. Melba sang once in "Traviata" at a special performance and>nce in "Rsgoletto" in the subscription; then she was announced as iland betook herself to England. MmeI.ipkowska sang a few times, as litalso Signor Constantino, but the publiiseamed indifferent tD the performanceswhich were devoted to old operas b_\Verdi. Mme. Melis, who had made atagreeable impression at the ManhattanOpera House in the previous seasonMiss Nielsen and M. Baklanoff (a fineartiat) were not heard, and M. Renaud"the most finished and versatile ofFrench artista whom the foresight ofMaurice Grau had retained for theMetropolitan, hut whose contract MrConried cancelled at the cost of a penalty* and who bad been one of Mr.Hammerstein's strongest props duringthe years of rivalry with the Metropolitan, was heard only in the performance with Mme. Melba and in a fewif thoRe of the Chicago company.The season was financially profitable,though Signor Gatti had to contendwith a deal of ill luck. Signor Carusowas seized with an affection of thethroat and saog for the last time ir'he season on February 6, 1911. Thefact was woful to the subscribers,grievously disappointing to the publicand seemed full of evil portent for thefuture of the institution; but Nature'saw of compensation remained operative, and the public was taught a betterappreciation of operas not in Signorfaruso's repertory than it would havereceived had the popular idol remainedmore persistently in the public eye andear. German opera, which seemed tobe threatened by the enforced retire-nent of Mr. Dippel in the precedingseason, came into particular prominence because of the enforced retirement of Signor Caruso in this. By epeculiarly happy dispensation MissFarrar, the most popular of the company's singers after Signor Caruso, wasdowered with an opera ("Knigskinder") which made a strong appeal tothe most enthusiastic and faithful element among the city's music lovers,and what happened after February 6may be set down as a sort of educational campaign the effects of whichwere realized in later years, when itwas found that operas could succeedwithout the great singer's participation and fail in spite of his help intheir performance. The most strikinginstance of the latter sort is connectedwith the opera which Signor Gatti hadselected to be the culmination of theseason's gloryPu


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