[Met Performance] CID:101950
La Rondine {9} American Academy of Music, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 03/19/1929.

(Review)


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
March 19, 1929


LA RONDINE {9}

Magda...................Lucrezia Bori
Ruggero.................Beniamino Gigli
Lisette.................Editha Fleischer
Prunier.................Armand Tokatyan
Rambaldo................Pavel Ludikar
Yvette..................Charlotte Ryan
Bianca..................Philine Falco
Suzy....................Merle Alcock
Perichaud...............Millo Picco
Crebillon...............James Wolfe
Gobin...................Giordano Paltrinieri
Georgette...............Unknown
Gabrielle...............Unknown
Lolette.................Unknown

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

Review of Linton Martin in the Philadelphia Inquirer

'RONDINE' CHARMS AS OPERA OFFERING

Bori and Gigli Delight in Fine Performance by the Metropolitan Company

If any Puccini opera outside of the three hardy perennials - "Bohème," "Butterfly" and "Tosca" - achieves more or less permanent popularity, it seems likely to be "La Rondine" (The Swallow) which the Metropolitan Opera Company repeated at the Academy last night. Certainly it has vastly more melodic charm and spontaneity than the posthumous "Turandot" or "The Girl of the Golden West," as well as more definite individuality than "Manon Lescaut," and its light lyric grace was admirable enhanced by a cast that included identically the same principals heard in the Philadelphia premiere of the work a little less that a year ago, headed by Lucrezia Bori and Beniamino Gigli as the lovers.

The performance proved to be one of the most engaging offerings on the lighter side of the season. The lilting liveliness of the music, with its background of Viennese waltzes, the superficial sentiment of the story, so richly reminiscent of "Traviata" without the unhappy ending, the bright beauty of Joseph Urban's splendid scenery, and the notably fine cast - all of these elements combined to win the instant and emphatic enthusiasm of the audience for this opera which is really Puccini's love song of mellower years, for it is known that the late composer poured into this thrice-rewritten work the singing sentiment and exuberance of emotion he experienced in his own affairs while he was working on "La Rondine."

Miss Bori sang with the utmost charm and beauty and presented an appealing picture as "The Swallow" of the title - so-called because she returns to her nest, as cynically predicted, for its luxury after her summer season of evanescent amours with the youth whose naïveté has made so strong an appeal to her sophisticated soul. Her characterization of Magda is as admirable and as individual in its way as her Manon or Fiora, and it combines sprightliness with sentiment most effectively.

Mr. Gigli made a more romantic impression than he did in the same part a year ago, and he sang with golden beauty of tone. The whimsical diffidence of his first appearance was balanced by simulation of pathos later.

Armand Tokatyan as the amusing poet, and Editha Flesicher as the sprightly and scheming maid were outstanding, while excellent impersonations were also contributed by Pavel Ludikar as Rambaldo and Millo Picco as Perichaud, with Giordano Paltrinieri, James Wolfe, Charlotte Ryan, Philene Falco and Merle Alcock filling other roles efficiently.

Vincenzo Bellezza conducted with fine discrimination and fullness of flavor. Each of the three scenes was alluring and the Bal Bullier episode, especially, was given with great animation.



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