[Met Performance] CID:130410
Don Pasquale {35}
Ballet Divertissement
. Metropolitan Opera House: 01/4/1941.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 4, 1941

BALLET DIVERTISSEMENT
Music from "L'Arlesienne" suites by Georges Bizet
1. Overture
2. Gitane: Monna Montes, Corps de Ballet
3. Carillon: Ruthanna Boris, Grant Mouradoff, Corps de Ballet
4. Minuet: Monna Montes, Ruthanna Boris, Grant Mouradoff, Corps de Ballet
5. Farucca: Monna Montes, Grant Mauradoff
6. Farandole: Corps de Ballet

Conductor...............Wilfred Pelletier
Choreographer...........Boris Romanoff



DON PASQUALE {35}

Don Pasquale............Salvatore Baccaloni
Norina..................Bid˙ Sayao
Ernesto.................Nino Martini
Dr. Malatesta...........Frank Valentino
Notary..................Alessio De Paolis

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

Review (Unsigned) in Musical America

Success of New Basso

Mr. Baccaloni loomed above all others as an operatic personality. Physically, it was a case of looming sideways. Though of only average height, the Italian buffo is said to weigh not less than 320 pounds, but his bulk does not prevent him from being light on his feet, as he demonstrated in both operas. Artistically, he was about all that a buffo singer should be, for not only was he droll without being downright farcical, but there were times where he fairly out sang his associates. In the sentimental scene after Norina has slapped old Pasquale's face, he was genuinely pathetic. The music here is a stroke of genius, but it needs just such skill as Mr. Baccaloni and Miss Sayao brought to it to bring it off. It may be questioned whether the Broadway institution ever has had Mr. Baccaloni's equal in the role of Pasquale, though others have sung and played it delightfully.

The cast was a completely new one as compared to the last previous representations of 1934-35. when the chief singers were Lucrezia Bori, Tito Schipa, Giuseppe De Luca and Ezio Pinza. The sets were those designed for the revival of six years ago, and these alone served to associate the current production with its immediate predecessor. "Don Pasquale" has been in and out, mostly out, of the active list since 1899. In the audience undoubtedly were many whose memories were concerned chiefly with the Norina of Marcella Sembrich in the opera's earliest days at the Metropolitan. Although it would be gilding the lily to compare Miss Sayao's vocal qualities with those of her most illustrious predecessor, she was lyrically adept in the part and piquantly attractive. Her delivery of "So anch' io la virt¨ magica" was altogether charming.

As Doctor Malatesta, Francesco Valentino had neither the elegance of Scotti,nor the unction of De Luca, but he sang "Bella siccome un angelo" admirably and gave a respectable, if not a brilliant, account of the highly ornamented patter which makes this a taxing part. The bravura duet between Norina and Malatesta was taken so fast that one could not be certain whether all of its embellishments were being sung, but the artists may be given the benefit of the doubt. Nino Martini was not in voice. He had the style for Ernesto's solos, but he could not command the pitch. There need be only praise for the notary of Alessio de Paolis.



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