[Met Performance] CID:100130
Il Trovatore {163} Metropolitan Opera House: 11/8/1928.

(Debut: Clara Jacobo
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
November 8, 1928


IL TROVATORE {163}
Giuseppe Verdi--Salvatore Cammarano

Manrico.................Giovanni Martinelli
Leonora.................Clara Jacobo [Debut]
Count Di Luna...........Giuseppe Danise
Azucena.................Margarete Matzenauer
Ferrando................Léon Rothier
Ines....................Philine Falco
Ruiz....................Giordano Paltrinieri
Gypsy...................Arnold Gabor

Conductor...............Vincenzo Bellezza

Director................Armando Agnini
Set designer............Mario Sala
Set designer............James Fox

Il Trovatore received six performances this season.

Review of Francis D. Perkins in the New York Tribune

Clara Jacobo Makes Debut in 'Il Trovatore'

Former Textile Worker Gives Commendable Performance at the Metropolitan

The fifth singer of the season to make a debut at the Metropolitan Opera House, and the first to make an initial bow in a leading role, was Clara Jacobo, Italian-American soprano from Lawrence, Mass., who introduced herself last night to the historic Broadway house as Leonora in "Il Trovatore." With the Laurentian debutante in the season's first performance of this Verdi opera was Mme. Matzenauer as Azucena, Mr. Martinelli as Manrico, Mr. Danise as the Count and Mr. Rothier as Ferrando.

Of Mme. Jacobo we are told that she first confessed to an ambition for grand opera at the age of fourteen, after hearing a performance by Luisa Tetrazzini. Her family, in the traditional manner of families, did not take this ambition very seriously, But during a period in which she sang in the Holy Rosary Church of Lawrence, Mme. Jacobo worked in a textile mill and earned money for her passage money to Italy. Her father, a grocer of the Massachusetts city, had saved enough to launch her on her musical career. Last night wound up the first chapter of the story in a satisfactory manner - her father, Angelo Jacobo, was present to stand beside his daughter before the cameras after the performance with the Mayor of Lawrence, Michael Landers.

While this was Mme. Jacobo's first appearance at the Metropolitan, it was her eighteenth operatic performance in New York. She first appeared in our public prints as the subject of dispute between the San Carlo Opera and the late Manhattan Opera Association. With the former company she made her debut in "Il Trovatore" on September 27, 1924, and has been heard here in every subsequent year, usually with Mr. Gallo's organization.

With the San Carlo she had given impression of a promising voice in need of further polish, and last night's impression was similar. Mme. Jacobo's voice proved sizable, finding no trouble in filling the house and suggested a potentially very good quality, but still subject to occasional flutters, rarely seeming forced, but sometimes lacking fullness of tone, although not unable to achieve it. Her style of vocal production has been moderated in the last four years, interpretively her performance was conservative with increasing vocal warmth and confidence toward the end of the opera. In a debut, of course, allowance must be made; there will be opportunity to see how much Mme. Jacobo has yet to learn later on and to note her actual and potential operatic assets.

The performance was commendable, nothing extraordinary. Mr. Martinelli sang Manrico spiritedly, with a touch of effort in his top notes; a similar reservation applied to Mme. Matzenauer's otherwise good singing, while Mr. Danise was a creditable Count. Mr. Bellezza held the baton, and Mme. Falco and Messrs. Paltrinieri and Gabor sang minor roles. The Lawrence delegation and the others called for many final appearances before the curtain.



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