[Met Performance] CID:123490
Don Giovanni {98} Matinee ed. Boston Opera House, Boston, Massachusetts: 03/26/1938.

(Review)


Boston, Massachusetts
March 26, 1938 Matinee


DON GIOVANNI {98}

Don Giovanni............Ezio Pinza
Donna Anna..............Dusolina Giannini
Don Ottavio.............Richard Crooks
Donna Elvira............Irene Jessner
Leporello...............Virgilio Lazzari
Zerlina.................Marita Farell
Masetto.................Louis D'Angelo
Commendatore............Emanuel List

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

Review of Cyrus Durgin in the Boston Sunday Globe

METROPOLITAN OPERA

Giannini as Donna Anna in Boston Opera Debut

"Don Giovanni" is a wealthy relative in the operatic family - old, highly respected and a victim of neglect except when some circumstance makes the attention of public performance advisable. But where wealthy relatives are sometimes cultivated with a modicum of effort, "Don Giovanni" is amenable only at the hands of six first-rate vocalists, a capable orchestra, and a conductor who is a master of Mozartian style. That is why, in this age when singing as an art is matching the stock market for new loss, Mozart's masterpiece is so seldom attempted. Boston last heard it in 1931. The production offered by the Metropolitan forces at the Boston Opera House yesterday afternoon was a revival of the past New York season.

The performance was the occasion of the first appearance here in opera of Dusolina Giannini, who wore with an air the grief and the mourning black of Donna Anna. It was also marked by Boston debut of Marita Farell, whose Zerlina was a conspicuous excellence. The other members of the cast were heard here for the first time in their respective roles, save for Virgilio Lazzari, whose Leporello is a blessed memory from the days of the late Chicago Civic Opera.

Generally speaking, this was a balanced cast, and the performance, under Mr. Panizza's authoritative and tender care, was successful if not great. Mme. Giannini's customarily lustrous voice suffered momentarily from shrillness, and the high range of "Or sai che l'onore" resulted in forced tones. But she possesses admirable style and her work on the whole was on high order.

The licentious Don has been one of Mr. Pinza's finest roles, both as to singing and the swagger which he brings to it. Mr. Crooks is well suited to the music of Mozart, witness the beautiful style and supple legato of his "Dalla sua pace" and "Il mio Tesoro." Mme. Jessner coped satisfactorily with the role of Donna Elvira, bringing out the grand line of "Mi tradi" with intensity if not with amplitude of voice. Once again, Leporello was a deliciously amusing fellow as Mr. Lazzari sung and acted the role. Both attributes were present in the Masetto of Mr. d'Angelo. Mr. List was a sonorous Commendatore.

The present production, it is interesting to note, retains the epilogue that follows the destruction of Don Giovanni, but which, after the first performance at Prague, was dropped by Mozart and Da Ponte.



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