[Met Performance] CID:118710
Aida {399} Matinee ed. Metropolitan Opera House: 02/12/1936.

(Debut: Dusolina Giannini
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
February 12, 1936 Matinee


AIDA {399}
Giuseppe Verdi--Antonio Ghislanzoni

Aida....................Dusolina Giannini [Debut]
Radamès.................Giovanni Martinelli
Amneris.................Rose Bampton
Amonasro................Lawrence Tibbett
Ramfis..................Chase Baromeo
King....................Louis D'Angelo
Messenger...............Giordano Paltrinieri
Priestess...............Thelma Votipka
Dance...................Daphne Vane
Dance...................William Dollar

Conductor...............Ettore Panizza

Review of Olin Downes in The New York Times:
Hers is a temperament designed for the lyric stage. Miss Giannini acts by nature and has developed herself as an actress and a dramatic interpreter by ten odd years of experience of the lyric theatre. Her Aida immediately struck the note of passionate feeling and of a proud nature, and maintained this throughout the opera. It is a well proportioned interpretation from first to last, when the voice is not forced the tone, below the highest octave, has much the sensuous and expressive quality that characterized it in years past.

Therefore the first scene of the second act, the scene with Amneris, the accents of supplication and of the love for Radames, suddenly unveiled, made a passage of moving and artistic interpretation. The great air of the Nile scene, marred by some bad quality, was nevertheless treated with such authority and dramatic spirit, and indeed the whole scene carried through with such sureness and effect that the audience was stirred to an unusual demonstration after the curtain. And this was in spite of the fact that the voice had been hurt by hard use, by unnecessary forcing, which was a tendency of Miss Giannini had shown long ago in recital. It has not helped her as a singer. Yesterday she had a large measure of success because of what she did as an interpreter and in spite of the deficiencies mentioned.

Review of Danton Walker in The New York Daily News
"Why isn't Dusolina Giannini singing in the Metropolitan Opera House?" is a question music fans have been asking for years. For Miss Giannini, who had had a yes-and-no concert success in her native United States, is something of a furor abroad. In some foreign music circles, notably Berlin, one hears that people stand in line for days ahead to purchase tickets to hear her in opera.

Well, Miss Giannini made her long-deferred debut at the Met yesterday afternoon in "Aida." Given as a benefit for the New York Diet Kitchen Association. And while those who anticipated anything phenomenal were doomed to disappointment, there can be no doubt that she will be a useful addition to the Met's roster. She is definitely operatic material.

Equipped with a clear, warm and true dramatic soprano, which she employs with skill and musicianship and a good if somewhat stocky figure, she has excellent stage presence and the genuine dramatic flair. If she was at all nervous yesterday, there were no indications of it. She completely won over a diffident audience and even had the orchestra men applauding at her final curtain calls.

Beyond drying up a bit on the final A of "O patria mia," here voice was excellent throughout, though there was some effort to reach the high C of that aria (I think it was a high C. The music boys disagreed. Bob Simon thought it as a B-flat. Frank Chapman, Gladys Swarthout's husband opined it was C-sharp. Frank Wenker, the Met's press agent, two newspaper critics and a vocal teacher, as well as three members of the orchestra disagreed. Helen Jepson said it was a C-natural, and as Helen made her fame as a pioneer of the high-C on the radio, I guess she ought to know).

Miss Giannini had the benefit of two such seasoned performers as Giovanni Martinelli (Rhadames) and Lawrence Tibbett (Amonasro) to aid her debut. Rose Bampton, making her first appearance of the season, was a gorgeously costumed Amneris.

Review of Leonard Liebling in The New York American
Known here previously as a concert artists, Dusolina Giannini, soprano, made her operatic debut locally yesterday afternoon at the Metropolitan in the title role of Verdi's "Aida." The performance was for the benefit of the New York Diet kitchen Association.

Miss Giannini (pupil of the late Marcella Sembrich) is no novice on the lyric stage, for she followed several seasons of American recital-touring with a number of years devoted partly to operatic appearances in various European countries. Her chief concert assets were a smooth, well-produced voice of unusually rich coloring and a musical delivery revealing style, intelligence, and feeling.

Those qualities aided her yesterday, even though all the former smoothness was not in evidence, and a few of her high tones sounded edged at times-shortcoming no doubt due to pardonable nervousness. There were many moments of ample power, but also some when more substance could have been desired in the ensemble passages. Further proof many be awaited that the Giannini singing organ is a typical one for the demands of dramatic soprano parts.

She understood her music fully and gave it consistent taste and eloquence. The "Numi Pieta" song was especially affecting in its sincere and warmly-tinted utterance. In the third act Miss Giannini scored strongly through lovely voicing of the "O Patria Mia," and spirited contribution to the duet with Amonasro. She registered uncommon ability as an actress, portraying an Aida passionate and animated of expressive pantomime and facial play. An audience that crowded the opera house, received Miss Giannini with enthusiasm and numerous curtain calls.

Rose Bampton, the Amneris, tall and stately, made the proper picture as the Egyptian princess and sang fluently and in style, but lacked somewhat in tonal volume and penetrativeness. Her gesturing needs something more of grace. As Radames, Giovanni Martinelli gave a tasteful and generally excellent account, as usual, and wore the only authentic period costumes of the principals.
Again exhibiting his seeming unlimited versatility, Lawrence Tibbett was a convincingly fierce and sonorously effective Amonasro. Chase Baromeo did a completely competent Ramfis.



Added Index Entries for Subjects and Names


Back to short citation(s).