[Met Performance] CID:114140
Don Giovanni {88} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/3/1934.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 3, 1934


DON GIOVANNI {88}
Mozart-Da Ponte

Don Giovanni............Ezio Pinza
Donna Anna..............Rosa Ponselle
Don Ottavio.............Tito Schipa
Donna Elvira............Maria Müller
Leporello...............Virgilio Lazzari
Zerlina.................Editha Fleischer
Masetto.................Louis D'Angelo
Commendatore............Léon Rothier

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

Director................Wilhelm von Wymetal Jr.
Designer................Joseph Urban
Choreographer...........Rosina Galli

Don Giovanni received three performances this season.

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

Don Giovanni Sung by Pinza Despite Cold

Rosa Ponselle Fills Role of Donna Anna in Mozart Opera at Metropolitan

Tullio Serafin Conducts

Maria Müller, Schipa and Rothier Also Are in Cast

Mozart's "Don Giovanni" had its first production of the season at the
Metropolitan Opera House last night, with Ezio Pinza, as in the other twelve performances of this 166-years old "drama giocoso" given here in Mr. Gatti-Casazza's regime, as the unrepentant amorist of the title role. Tito Schipa, as last season, was the Don Ottavio, with Rosa Ponselle as Donna Anna, Maria Müller as Donna Elvira, Editha Fleischer as Zerlina, Leon Rothier as the Commander and Louis D'Angelo as Masetto, while there was a new Leporello, Virgillio Lazzari, to complete the cast under Tullio Serafin's direction.

The printed slips that tell the audience of something not foreseen in the program made their first appearance of the season last night, but not to tell of a change of cast, their message was that Mr. Pinza was suffering from a severe cold, but had consented to sing to oblige the management. To lessen the task, the air "Finch han del vino" in the first act was omitted, but Mr. Pinza's singing betrayed little trace of his ailment.

The general characteristics of the Metropolitan's present production of "Don Giovanni"' have remained substantially the same during the last four years. The treatment of the stage and scenic problems represents probably as good a solution as any of the problems involved in a house such as the Metropolitan. The device of having certain arias sung before the curtain at the close of a scene, thus forestalling or shortening the waits during the many shifts suggests the "concert in costume" type of opera. "Don Giovanni" is, after all, sometimes an opera of that kind. The performance, like its predecessors, was well coordinated under the artistic and intelligent direction of Mr. Serafin; Mr. Pinza, if not one of the great impersonators of the Don, gives a more finished and characteristic performance of this exacting role than he did four years ago.

Miss Ponselle offered some very delectable singing and some in which she was not always at her best, Mme. Müller's singing gave considerable ground for praise, but seemed sometimes overstressed and accentuated. Although the quality of one or two of Mr. Schipa's top notes was rather tenuous, the style and phrasing of his song was usually artistic and well schooled; Miss Fleischer and Mr. d'Angelo did effective work. Mr. Lazzari's voice seemed well suited to Leporello's lines; his impersonation at first was rather reserved and colorless, but gained in personality and humor as the performance progressed. Mr. Rothier again issued the Statue's warnings with due portentousness.

Although 'Don Giovanni" has not been one of the Metropolitan's heaviest drawing cards in previous seasons, last night's audience was of good size and the standees unusually numerous.



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