[Met Performance] CID:100490
Rigoletto {173} American Academy of Music, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 12/4/1928.

(Review)


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
December 4, 1928


RIGOLETTO {173}
Giuseppe Verdi--Francesco Maria Piave

Rigoletto...............Giuseppe De Luca
Gilda...................Queena Mario
Duke of Mantua..........Giacomo Lauri-Volpi
Maddalena...............Merle Alcock
Sparafucile.............Adamo Didur
Monterone...............Louis D'Angelo
Borsa...................Giordano Paltrinieri
Marullo.................Millo Picco
Count Ceprano...........Vincenzo Reschiglian
Countess Ceprano........Phradie Wells
Giovanna................Henriette Wakefield
Page....................Paolina Tomisani

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

Review of Henry Starr Richardson in the Philadelphia Star

DE LUCA AND MARIO SING 'RIGOLETTO'

Lauri-Volpi Was the Duke with Didur and Alcock

The Metropolitan Company's annual performance of the operatic warhorse, Verdi's "Rigoletto," with the barrel organ tunes, occurred on last night. It had a well balanced cast, albeit one of no particular distinction, and it pleased those who like the old-time stuff, glad of surcease from the complex moderns and delighting as of yore in the saccharine melodies, which anyone can whistle or hum. This organization cannot do anything indifferently, so that last night's show had many points of appeal, especially in the expert, balanced and unusual tone and work of the chorus.

The feature was the all-around excellence of Giuseppe De Luca in the title role. This mellowed, capable artist, ripe with the resource of experience, presented a Rigoletto which was intensely dramatic without sensationalism and which registered fully the pathos of the part. He sang the music with finished artistry, dramatic vigor and superior taste. Striving at no time for big tones to astound the groundlings, he sang with fine phrasing, graphic coloring and a refined vocalism. It was the first time since 1921 that he had sung with role in this city, although he sang it here in 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920 and 1921. After that it was in the hands of Danise, although Basiola sing it in 1926.

Queena Mario was the Gilda for the first time in Philadelphia and did it very well. This artiste has come to the fore in the company and showed herself to be a coloratura of no mean ability. Her voice is fluent and of pleasing quality and much color, although light, and she attacked the bravura measures with authority and with considerable skill in execution. Her appearance was agreeable in the role and enhanced the interest. The human interest with which she invested the part was outstanding in her work, together with an appealing sincerity and warmth of tone.

Marion Talley sang Gilda on March 20, of this year when the company presented the work, and also in 1926. Giacomo Lauri-Volpi, whose light tenor is very agreeable, and who sometimes sings remarkably well, was well suited to the familiar arias of the Duke. He was fluent and picturesque, acting admirably and delivering the music with saccharine tone and a fine flourish. He sang it here in 1926 and 1927, the last previous performance having Gigli.

Merle Alcock's rich contralto was heard to good advantage in the Maddalena music and Adamo Didur repeated his well known dramatic and effective Sparafucile. Bellezza conducted with competence.



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