This afternoon Martha
at Metropolitan Opera House
evening at home & Sisters
Another day, another opera, this time a light comedy suitable for a matinee (allmusic.com describes Martha as "conventional and accessible," though possessed of an "excellent libretto." I haven't seen it, but I've listened to it and find it a bit bouncy for my tastes, though I prefer darker stuff and am certainly no opera critic.) I'm not quite sure why Papa was able to join the daytime crowd on a Friday, though lately he's had a few days off here and there due to his factory's slack season.
This performance gave Papa his second look of the season at the beloved Met fixture (and future musical film star) Beniamio Gigli, and his first at Frances Alda, also a longtime Met presence. I can't find any clips of Gigli and Alda singing Martha, but I've harvested a few fruits from the Internets that might help us understand what Papa's experience was like on this day:
Here's the great Giovanni Martinelli, who Papa had seen the previous day in Carmen, singing the well known aria "M'appari tutt'amor" from Martha:
In the original German, this aria is known as "Ach so fromm." Helge Roswaenge takes a crack at it in this German film adaptation of Martha from 1936.
And for good measure, here's Caruso's take on it:
Frances Alda joins Caruso in the clip below to sing a duet from Verdi's Trovatore:
Alas, I haven't found any recordings of Gigli singing Martha, but here he is singing "Vesti la Giubba" from Pagliacci (which Papa also saw earlier in the year.)