[Met Performance] CID:128660
Tosca {250} Boston Opera House, Boston, Massachusetts: 04/6/1940.


Boston, Massachusetts
April 6, 1940

TOSCA {250}

Tosca...................Dusolina Giannini
Cavaradossi.............Charles Kullman
Scarpia.................John Brownlee
Sacristan...............Louis D'Angelo
Spoletta................Alessio De Paolis
Angelotti...............Norman Cordon
Sciarrone...............Wilfred Engelman
Shepherd................Anna Kaskas
Jailer..................Arnold Gabor

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

Review signed R. F. E. Jr. in the Boston Herald



Heartened perhaps by the reassuring news that more than three quarters of the million dollars sought by the Metropolitan Opera Association to maintain and advance opera has already been pledged, the company last night gave a spirited and briskly paced performance "Tosca" at the Opera House to conclude its current engagement. The capacity audience mingled cheers with applause for both Dusolina Giannini and Charles Kullman, the protagonists in the Puccini's high strung melodrama, and by the time Mme. Giannini in the role of Floria Tosca had taken off from the battlements in her final death plunge, few could take exception to the principal's melodramatic interpretation.

It was apparent that many had planned to see "Tosca" principally to hear Lawrence Tibbett in the role of Baron Scarpia, the amorous, one-man Ogpu. There was naturally some disappointment when Mr. Tibbett was forced to withdraw from the cast at short notice because of a streptococcus infection which sent him scurrying to New York. John Brownlee, who took his place, however, gave a satisfying and at times splendid conception of a role which he obviously enjoys. He was in good voice although a slight tension in the upper registers was at time noticeable, and his stage deportment was especially convincing.

Dusolina Giannini proved her ideas of Tosca were pretty sound before the evening was over. As indicated, she had a melodramatic conception, and on this score had a tendency to overdo her bodily movements. Her use of her hands was effective, and her voice, except for an occasional stridency, was well produced and very flexible. Too, her concentrated fury at the end of the second act was almost alarmingly effective, even though that bit of business might well play itself.

In the role of Mario, Charles Kullman redeemed himself splendidly as an actor (we have in mind his woodenness as Dmitri in "Boris"). He was in fine voice, fully in control of his excellent range and production facilities, and played his part throughout excellently. The minor roles were adequately done, with special emphasis on Louis D'Angelo and Alessio de Paolis. Gennaro Papi allowed his orchestra too much leeway at times, but on the whole gave a glowing account of himself.

Between the second and last act, H. Wendell Endicott, president of the Boston Opera Association, spoke a graceful plea for further support of the opera, the future of which - paragraph one above notwithstanding - is still shaky. As a cheering final note, however, the news was today released that Mme. Flagstad has dispelled the rumors that this is her last season.

Let us hope that if this is true, she (or somebody) will persuade the Metropolitan to return next year with a more refreshing repertoire.

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