[Met Performance] CID:114530
La Traviata {196} Matinee ed. Metropolitan Opera House: 02/2/1934.

(Debut: John Charles Thomas
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
February 2, 1934 Matinee


LA TRAVIATA {196}
Giuseppe Verdi--Francesco Maria Piave

Violetta................Rosa Ponselle
Alfredo.................Tito Schipa
Germont.................John Charles Thomas [Debut]
Flora...................Elda Vettori
Gastone.................Giordano Paltrinieri
Baron Douphol...........Alfredo Gandolfi
Marquis D'Obigny........Millo Picco
Dr. Grenvil.............Paolo Ananian
Annina..................Philine Falco
Dance...................Rita De Leporte
Dance...................Giuseppe Bonfiglio
Dance...................Mildred Schneider

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


Review of Howard Taubman in The New York Times

THOMAS TRIUMPHS IN HIS OPERA DEBUT

American Baritone Receives Ovation at Metropolitan 'La Traviata'

John Charles Thomas, the American baritone, became a member of the Metropolitan Opera Company yesterday afternoon in excellent standing. He is a distinguished addition. His singing left no doubt of this, and the capacity audience, which brought the Vassar College Scholarship Fund a profit of $4,500, proved by its cheers and applause that it held him in high esteem. The opera was "La Traviata," and Mr. Thomas's rôle was, of course, that of the elder Germont. Rosa Ponselle and Tito Schipa were in the other leading roles, and Tullio Serafin was the conductor. It was the annual benefit sponsored by the Vassar Club of New York.

Mr. Thomas is thoroughly familiar to New York as a concert artist. It is not news to say that he sang with richness of tone, fine musicianship, intelligence and poise. These qualities were present yesterday. The questions were: How would the voice carry in the Metropolitan Opera House over an orchestra and what would be his capacities as an actor? Within the frame of "Traviata," Mr. Thomas came off with great credit on both points. The voice was big, resonant, beautifully rounded; only once or twice did an orchestral tutti cause him to force the tone, and that may have been due In part to slight nervousness. As for capturing the quality of the character, the baritone was eminently successful. He was a striking figure on the stage, warm, compassionate and dignified in action.

Of course, severer tests will come later on. "Traviata" is a singer's opera, at least for the baritone. The air, "Pura siccone un angelo," and the "Di Provenza il mar" are irresistible material; Verdi knew how to turn a tune. Mr. Thomas sang this familiar music with opulent color and a fine-spun legato, and he joined Miss Ponselle in a touching treatment of the second act duet.

When Mr. Thomas made his first entrance there was a prolonged outburst of applause. Several times during the second act and at the end he was the recipient of as much acclaim as any newcomer at the Metropolitan in a long time. His forthcoming appearances should be decidedly interesting: they should provide more evidence on his measure as an opera singer. One thing is indubitable: Mr. Thomas is a vocal artist.



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