[Met Performance] CID:128580
La Traviata {235} Boston Opera House, Boston, Massachusetts: 03/30/1940.

(Review)


Boston, Massachusetts
March 30, 1940


LA TRAVIATA {235}
Giuseppe Verdi--Francesco Maria Piave

Violetta................Helen Jepson
Alfredo.................Richard Crooks
Germont.................Giuseppe De Luca
Flora...................Thelma Votipka
Gastone.................Alessio De Paolis
Baron Douphol...........Wilfred Engelman
Marquis D'Obigny........George Cehanovsky
Dr. Grenvil.............Louis D'Angelo
Annina..................Helen Olheim
Dance...................Lillian Moore
Dance...................Monna Montes

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

Review of Edward Downes in the Boston Evening Transcript

'TRAVIATA'

Giuseppe De Luca as Elder Germont

One of the less distinguished performances the Metropolitan Opera has offered us this season was Verdi's "Traviata" on Saturday evening. Not that "Traviata" is not one of the great operas. On the contrary, many passages of the first three acts and almost all of the fourth are in the hands of a great singer and great actress, one of the most moving experiences opera offers. One need not be unjustly harsh to say that Miss Jepson who sang the part of Violetta, is neither of these. Miss Jepson is good to look upon, she has a serviceable voice of not very interesting timbre and with little variation of color, She sings her coloratura accurately if with a certain effort, and goes though the emotions of her part. But she showed little trace of emotion: either of the desperate gayety of "Sempre libera," the tragic nobility of the second act, "Dite alla giovine," the pathetic finale of the third act or the agony of the fourth.

Richard Crooks as Alfredo sang with familiar beauty of tone and musicianship after his voice had had time to warm. But he too was unable to convey much of the poignance of the tragedy he enacted.

Giuseppe De Luca as Germont pere, was the most authoritative member of the cast and received a well deserved ovation after his consoling aria to Alfredo, "Di Provenza il mar." Each artist on the stage could have learned something from Mr. De Luca for he represents a thoroughness of training, dramatically as well as vocally, and a reverence for hard work and tradition: the long hard way to success and fame which few singers today are willing or able to take.

Ettore Panizza was the sensitive conductor with the score at the tip of his fingers and the situation always well in hand.

The scenery of Acts I, III and IV was mildly inoffensive, but that of the garden in Act II was a scandalous piece of makeshift which looked as if it had been hauled out of some local warehouse.

There was a ballet in Act III.



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