[Met Performance] CID:113130
La Sonnambula {24} Matinee Broadcast ed. Metropolitan Opera House: 02/11/1933., Broadcast

(Broadcast
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
February 11, 1933 Matinee Broadcast


LA SONNAMBULA {24}
Bellini-F. Romani

Amina...................Lily Pons
Elvino..................Giacomo Lauri-Volpi
Rodolfo.................Ezio Pinza
Lisa....................Aida Doninelli
Teresa..................Ina Bourskaya
Alessio.................Louis D'Angelo
Notary..................Giordano Paltrinieri

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

Director................Alexander Sanine
Set designer............Joseph Urban

La Sonnambula received three performances this season.

Review of W. J. Henderson in the Sun

In the afternoon of Saturday there was an exhibition of a diametrically different type from that exemplified in Mr. Gruenberg's work. "La Sonnambula" was given and Bellini's old score, consisting of one air after another, prefaced by conventionalized recitative and set off by occasional utterances of the chorus of merry villagers, entertained a calm audience, which applauded politely at the appropriate points. Lily Pons once more assumed the virtues and fiorituri of Amina. She was in very bad voice and in her early numbers sang not only with unsteady tone, but with surprising variations of pitch. To old listeners her voice sounded extremely tired and she seemed to lack something of the spirit which she usually has displayed on the stage. In later scenes she improved, but her Amina of Saturday afternoon was not one of her memorable gifts to an expectant public.

Mr. Lauri-Volpi was the Elvino. He had been indisposed lately and perhaps had not entirely recovered, He had no difficulty in emitting ringing and well-sustained high tones. These were welcomed with acclamations by the trustworthy gentlemen who always reward peals of sound with salvos of applause. But the popular tenor was not comfortable when he had to sing long legato phrases and, like the prima donna and indeed frequently in company with her, he made excursions into tonalities appreciably removed from those of the orchestra.

Aida Doninelli was acceptable as the jealous rival of Amina. Mr. Pinza commanded praise for his dignity and his generally good singing as the Count who unwittingly caused all the trouble in the drama. Mr. Setti's trained chorus discharged its duties efficiently and the orchestra had no difficulties with Bellini's music. Tullio Serafin conducted with authority. But it is permissible to suspect that "La Sonnambula" will not rival "Emperor Jones" as an immediate box office asset. Mr. Gruenberg's opera has beaten even "Elektra" in the matter of gate receipts. These important facts are here recorded for the pleasure of those who sincerely believe that the measure of artistic worth is invariably taken in terms of dollars over the counter.



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