Saturday, July 26, 2008

She was a small creature

Mlle. Fohström effected her American début in a performance of "Lucia" on November 9th. She had been announced for the second night of the season in "Il Trovatore," but was taken ill. She had been little heard of previous to her coming, though diligent observers of musical doings knew that she had sung for several seasons in Europe, and, I believe, South America, and had figured in Colonel Mapleson's spring season in London in 1885. She was a small creature, with features of a markedly Scandinavian type--she was a native of Finland--and had evidently studied the traditions of the Italian operatic stage to as much purpose as was necessary to present, acceptably, the stereotyped round of characters. But her gifts and attainments were not great enough to take her impersonations out of the rut of conventionality, nor to save her singing from the charge of nervelessness and monotony of color. Three seasons later (1888-89) she was a member of the German company at the Metropolitan Opera House, and sang such rôles as Marguerite de Valois ("Les Huguenots"), Mathilde ("William Tell"), Marguerite ("Faust"), Bertha ("Le Prophète"), and Eudora ("La Juive"), giving place at the beginning of February to Mme. Schroeder-Hanfstängl...

No comments: