[Met Performance] CID:128740
La Gioconda {142} Public Hall, Cleveland, Ohio: 04/13/1940.

(Review)


Cleveland, Ohio
April 13, 1940


LA GIOCONDA {142}

La Gioconda.............Zinka Milanov
Enzo....................Giovanni Martinelli
Laura...................Bruna Castagna
Barnaba.................Leonard Warren
Alvise..................Ezio Pinza
La Cieca................Gladys Swarthout
Zune...................Wilfred Engelman
Ispo...................Giordano Paltrinieri
Monk....................Louis D'Angelo
Steersman...............Carlo Coscia
Singer..................Wilfred Engelman
Singer..................Giordano Paltrinieri
Dance...................George Chaffee
Dance...................Rita Holzer
Dance...................Sari Montague
Dance...................Monna Montes
Dance...................Grant Mouradoff
Dance...................Rosa Rolland [Last performance]
Dance...................Mary Sigler

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

Review of Arthur Loesser in the Cleveland Plain Dealer

Record Met Opera Season Ended in Bright Flourish

Crowds Fill Public Hall for 'La Gioconda'

The Metropolitan Opera season ended with a brilliant flourish on Saturday with two performances, afternoon and evening, both times before a completely filled Public Hall.

Attendance figures were not announced, but it was understood more than 70,000 attended the eight-day series, a new world record.

Ponchielli's "La Gioconda," the evening's offering, is pretty old stuff, considered as music history, yet it was something of a novelty to large numbers of Cleveland opera goers.

It proved to be a complicated salad of felonies: poisoning, stabbing, suicide, adultery, abduction, criminal libel, arson and a near-lynching - all of which were only the background for a lot of agreeable singing and dancing which formed the real meat of the dish.

Praises Warren as Barnaba

Most newsworthy performance of the evening was that of Leonard Warren in the part of Barnaba, the Venetian Gestapo agent. He exhibited notable vocal prowess and gave a convincing projection of all the evidences of stage villainy. Mr. Warren is one of the best of the recent additions to the Metropolitan roster.

Zinka Milanov, not heard here previously, undertook the title role. She has, fundamentally, a pleasing quality of voice and, of course, the general operatic competence that may be expected of a Metropolitan headliner. Yet her performance aroused little interest beyond the establishment of these facts.

Bruna Castagna as Laura, was in good form, showed off her warm voice to advantage. Gladys Swarthout, as the blind woman, did an excellent job with the aria, "Voce di Donna." Mr. Martinelli's and Mr. Pinza's always highly enjoyable talents need only to be mentioned again.

Ballet Applauded

Most solid, enthusiastic applause of the evening was reserved for the famous third-act balled, "The Dance of the hours," executed by the soloists and corps de ballet with exhilarating grace and verve.



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