[Met Performance] CID:101940
Rigoletto {176} Metropolitan Opera House: 03/18/1929.


Metropolitan Opera House
March 18, 1929

Giuseppe Verdi--Francesco Maria Piave

Rigoletto...............Giuseppe De Luca
Gilda...................Marion Talley
Duke of Mantua..........Giacomo Lauri-Volpi
Maddalena...............Marion Telva
Sparafucile.............Léon Rothier
Monterone...............Paolo Ananian
Borsa...................Giordano Paltrinieri
Marullo.................Millo Picco
Count Ceprano...........Vincenzo Reschiglian
Countess Ceprano........Minnie Egener
Giovanna................Philine Falco
Page....................Paolina Tomisani

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

Review of W. J. Henderson in the New York Sun

Marion Talley in 'Rigoletto'

Lauri-Volpi and De Luca Also Sing Roles in Performance at the Metropolitan

With the changing of the seasons the stars visible in the firmament are changed. Mr. Gatti-Casazza imitates the shining example of the heavens and permits certain of his lyric luminaries to pass out of sight, while others arise to shed their mild refulgence on the closing nights of the opera season. Last night Verdi's imperishable "Rigoletto," the musical embodiment of Victor Hugo's "Le Roi s'Amuse," was presented with the amiable purpose of bringing Miss Marion Talley once more before the local public.

That there should be some curiosity on the part of observant opera-goers as to whether she had made progress in her art since last heard here was to be expected and, furthermore, "Rigoletto" retains its favor year after year. So the auditorium was crowded and the plaudits were vociferous.

Miss Talley showed no advance in vocal technic or style. In so far as the latter was concerned, she may be said to have sung like an amateur without sense of the melodic line and without conception of the contour of the phrase. But these defects existed in her singing from the outset of her career. What was new was a marked increase of the difference between her medium and her upper tones. The former have become perceptibly smaller and much more veiled, while the higher tones have grown more acid and pinched. Miss Talley began with a scale unequalized. The inequality has of course widened since, as it is evident no attempt has been made to correct it. The bad attack noticed at her debut has become more violent and the scooping more frequent.

But there could be no doubt that many of her auditors liked her piercing upper tones, for every outburst of stentorian applause in the course of the performance followed the emission of a high tone by some one, whether Miss Talley or one of her associates. For finish of delivery, sensitiveness to melodic outline or rhythmic balance there seemed to be no general appetite. Miss Talley, it may be added in conclusion, has gained nothing in stage deportment. She still causes one to think of the conservatory commencement. However, she received abundant applause, and that ought to mean that she is entirely satisfactory to present day auditors of the Metropolitan Opera House.

Mr. Lauri-Volpi's the Duke did some of the best singing he has ever done here. If this tenor can control his voice, as he did at times last evening, and delight the ear with a sustained mezzo voce, it is a pity that he cannot be induced to do it oftener. The ecstatic shouts of his compatriots behind the rail whenever he pours forth a prolonged and powerful high tone are not an expression of general public opinion. Even in these days there is some sense of beauty, and the artist who caters to it is certain of his reward.

Mr. de Luca's Rigoletto is always excellent, though last night his voice seemed to be less resonant than normal. Mr. Rothier was capable as Sparafucile and Miss Telva was an acceptable Maddalena. Mr. Bellezza conducted.

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