[Met Performance] CID:124290
Lucia di Lammermoor {184} Metropolitan Opera House: 12/14/1938.

(Debut: Galliano Masini
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 14, 1938


LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR {184}
Donizetti-Cammarano

Lucia...................Lily Pons
Edgardo.................Galliano Masini [Debut]
Enrico..................Carlo Tagliabue
Raimondo................Ezio Pinza
Normanno................Giordano Paltrinieri
Alisa...................Thelma Votipka
Arturo..................Alessio De Paolis

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

Director................Désiré Defrère
Set designer............James Fox
Costume designer........Mathilde Castel-Bert
Choreographer...........Boris Romanoff

Lucia di Lammermoor received five performances this season.


Review of Olin Downes in The New York Times


MASINI IN DEBUT AT METROPOLITAN

Italian Tenor Sings the Role of Edgardo in 'Lucia," Opera Founded on Scott Novel

LILY PONS IN TITLE PART

Pinza Appears as Raimondo, with Gernnaro Papi Holding Baton for Production

Mr. Johnson has had some luck this season with his tenors, which is rare good fortune for an opera impresario in this year of our Lord 1938. A new Italian tenor made his New York debut last night in "Lucia di Lammermoor" and immediately won high favor with an immense audience. He is Galliano Masini, the unfortunate Edgardo of Lucia's dismal tale, but fortunate especially in his own youth, his manly and warm voice, aptitude for dramatic expression, and enthusiasm and sincerity in performance.

There were occasions when the upper register of Mr. Masini's voice was tight last night. The impression that nervousness was largely responsible for this was strengthened by the unauthoritative part that he took in the sextet, and other moments, when it was, as it were, finding his feet on a stage unknown to him, in the presence of a formidable public.

Tenor's Voice Shows Range

But this public took immediately to Mr. Masini, for the reasons above specified. When his singing was rough or tight for the moment it was incidental to the dramatic and very eloquent character of his interpretation. The voice has range and dramatic as well as lyrical qualities. And he was in dead earnest. He flung himself into his role. He sang with marked intelligence. When Edgardo's final solos came his voice was freer, therefore rounder, more beautiful than at any earlier moment of the evening. He accomplished much last night, and more may reasonably be expected of him in performances to come. His reception was the most enthusiastic.

Miss Pons Appears

For the rest of the cast the principal features were Miss Pons's singing of Lucia's various airs and Mr. Pinza's presence. Miss Pons sang with good intonation and quality of tone, with taste and sensibility which forbade exaggeration or mannerisms in her treatment of the music. As usual, the climax of her performance was the "mad scene," which she interprets with pathos as well as virtuosity.

The opera, thanks to the fresh impetus of Mr. Masini's Edgardo, the presence of Miss Pons, the sonorous voice of Mr. Pinza and also Mr. Papi's uncommonly spirited conducting, moved and actually glowed with feeling. This may surprise our friends of the higher-browed persuasion who will have "Otello," "Pelleas," "Gotterdaemrnerung" or nothing. The fact is that, when given with proper spirit and style, "Lucia di Lammermoor" is a surprisingly alive opera, cast in the conventional forms of its time, but also animated by genius.

How could an opera which is more than a hundred years old live if it were not for such vital qualities? It is well to remember that there is more than one niche in the temple of art, and last night it was possible to understand the enduring popularity of "Lucia." The audience packed the house. The more sophisticated, as well as the gallery gods, rejoiced together,




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