[Met Performance] CID:123150
Il Barbiere di Siviglia {156} Metropolitan Opera House: 02/28/1938.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
February 28, 1938


IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA {156}

Figaro..................John Brownlee
Rosina..................Lily Pons
Count Almaviva..........Bruno Landi
Dr. Bartolo.............Pompilio Malatesta
Don Basilio.............Virgilio Lazzari
Berta...................Irra Petina
Fiorello................Wilfred Engelman
Sergeant................Giordano Paltrinieri

Conductor...............Gennaro Papi

[In the Lesson Scene Pons sang Deh torna mio bene (Proch) and Villanelle (Dell'Acqua).]

Review of Irving Kolodin in the Sun

BROWNLEE SEEN IN "IL BARBIERE"

Lily Pons and Bruno Landi Sing in Comedy

The lively revival of Rossini's "Barber of Seville," which the Metropolitan first offered to its subscribers more than two weeks ago, had its first repetition in the subscription series last night. There had been one benefit matinee in the interim. As an additional boon, the performance offered the first appearance in the house of John Brownlee as Figaro, with Virgilio Lazzari as Don Basilio in place of Ezio Pinza. Lily Pons (Rosina) and Bruno Landi (Almaviva) retained their roles.

Though the vocal standards of the evening were not remarkably high for any of the participants, the good-natured absurdities of the plot were well sustained, particularly in the second act finale and the lesson scene. In both instances Mr. Brownlee's Figaro was a valuable factor in the action, though his vocal contributions were something of a disappointment. The "Largo al factotum" was sung with excellent spirit and a pleasant lack of exaggeration, but his voice has not the resonance or substance to achieve, in this house, the effects for which he strives. On the whole, the characterization excelled in the passages of patter and dialogue rather in those that required sustained singing.

The charming and decorative Rosina of Mme. Pons was an apt foil for the broadly farcical byplay of Pompillio Malatesta as Dr. Bartolo and Mr. Lazzari's Don Basilio, but her singing of the set airs had more than a few moments on insecure pitch and poor tone production. Her choices for the lesson scene were Proch's "Variations" and Dell'Acqua's "Villanelle." Gennaro Papi was the conductor. A large audience showed its pleasure equally with laughter and applause.



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