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     Gounod: FAUST   [Includes RealAudio Selections]      Table of Contents      Meyerbeer: L'AFRICAINE

The Mapleson Cylinders - Program Notes

- Libretti
- Meyerbeer: LES HUGUENOTS


In 1896, Maurice Grau offered Metropolitan Opera audiences, at advanced prices (a seven-dollar top), performances of Les Huguenots that he billed as "Nights of the Seven Stars"; the stars of the first one were Lillian Nordica (Valentine), Nellie Melba (Marguerite De Valois), Sofia Scalchi (Urbain), Jean De Reszke (Raoul), his brother Edouard (Marcel), Pol Planšon (St. Bris), and Victor Maurel (Nevers). Such casting for Meyerbeer's historical epic remained a Met specialty even into the years when Mapleson was recording, and at least three of the original "Seven Stars" turn up on the cylinders from Huguenots. In the three seasons from 1900-03, the opera was performed four, three, and three times respectively--and, as the cylinders indicate, the language in which the principals sang alternated between the original French and Italian translation, presumably dependent on the casting (the chorus always sang in Italian).

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     Gounod: FAUST   [Includes RealAudio Selections]      Table of Contents     				  				   Band 1