[Met Performance] CID:109220
Don Giovanni {84} Metropolitan Opera House: 11/19/1931.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
November 19, 1931


DON GIOVANNI {84}
Mozart-Da Ponte

Don Giovanni............Ezio Pinza
Donna Anna..............Rosa Ponselle
Don Ottavio.............Beniamino Gigli
Donna Elvira............Maria Müller
Leporello...............Pavel Ludikar
Zerlina.................Editha Fleischer
Masetto.................Louis D'Angelo
Commendatore............Léon Rothier

Conductor...............Tullio Serafin

Director................Hanns Niedecken-Gebhard
Designer................Joseph Urban
Choreographer...........August Berger

Don Giovanni received two performances this season.

Review of Francis D. Perkins in the new York Herald Tribune

'Don Giovanni' Is Sung With Familiar Cast

Mozart Opera, Revived Two Years Ago, Has Its First Performance of Season

Ponselle the Donna Anna

Statue's Lines Are Given Due Sonority by Rothier

Mozart's "Don Giovanni" had its first performance of the season, and its ninth of Mr. Gatti-Casazza's regime, last night at the Metropolitan Opera House, with a familiar cast, including Ezio Pinza as the Don, Rosa Ponselle as Donna Anna, Maria Mueller as Donna Elvira, Editha Fleischer as Zerlina, Benimino Gigli as Don Ottavio, Pavel Ludikar as Leporello, Louis D'Angelo as Masetto and Leon Rothier as the Commendatore, whose statue accepts Don Giovanni's rash invitation to dinner.

Musically, the performance varied little from most of its predecessors since the Mozart opera re-entered the repertoire twp years ago, after twenty-one years' absence. Miss Ponselle offered some delectable, well phrased singing, but did not always refrain from forcing her tones. Mme. Mueller's singing was often pleasing, but sometimes met its exacting task too vigorously, with hardness of the top notes. Among the women the most consistently meritorious singing of the evening was Miss Fleischer's. Mr. Pinza repeated his spirited interpretation of the Don, singing very acceptably in a role not entirely suited to his voice. Mr. Gigli was in good voice, while Mr. Ludikar and Mr. d'Angelo gave due contribution to the comic elements in da Ponte's libretto. Mr. Rothier sang the statue's lines in duly sonorous, portentous tones. Mr. Serafin conducted a coherent, smooth performance.

In the details of staging, the performance last night followed the lines of the 1929 revival, although it seemed that fewer of the arias and concerted numbers were sung before the inner curtain. The scene where the Don meets his doom was well handled, but although it is true that many quick shifts of scene are required, one wondered if Spanish buildings in Don Juan's time were as flexible as some of those on the opera stage last night seemed to indicate. A good-sized audience hailed the performance with due enthusiasm.



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