[Met Performance] CID:130460
Cavalleria Rusticana {312}
Pagliacci {348}
Metropolitan Opera House: 01/9/1941.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 9, 1941


CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA {312}
Mascagni-Targioni-Tozzetti/Menasci

Santuzza................Stella Roman
Turiddu.................Frederick Jagel
Lola....................Anna Kaskas
Alfio...................Leonard Warren
Mamma Lucia.............Doris Doe

Conductor...............Ferruccio Calusio

Director................Désiré Defrère
Set designer............Joseph Novak

Cavalleria Rusticana received eight performances this season.


PAGLIACCI {348}
Leoncavallo-Leoncavallo

Nedda...................Norina Greco
Canio...................Giovanni Martinelli
Tonio...................Lawrence Tibbett
Silvio..................Frank Valentino
Beppe...................Alessio De Paolis

Conductor...............Ferruccio Calusio

Director................Désiré Defrère
Set designer............Joseph Novak

Pagliacci received eight performances this season.

Review of Jerome D. Bohm in the Herald Tribune

Season Debut of "Cavalleria" And "Pagliacci"

Stella Roman Is Santuzza; Tibbett and Martinelli Are Heard in "Pagliacci"

Of these two almost inseparable veristic twins, "Pagliacci" fared by far the better. A more lethargic presentation of "Cavalleria Rusticana" has not come my way in any opera house. Mme. Roman, who had been heard here in but one other part previously, that of Aida, evidently believes that jilted Sicilian peasant girls take such matter phlegmatically, for she evinced not a jot of passion or resentment an being abandoned by Turiddu. True enough, she uttered the pleading and resentful words which the librettists and composer have put in Santuzza's mouth, but her features remained unperturbed and her actions lackadaisical.

Vocally, with the exception of three or four top tones, her work was equally undistinguished. The part lies too low for her, so that much of it could scarcely be heard across the footlights. Tremulous and unfocused tones prevailed.

Mr. Jagel's Turiddu was reasonably sung and his farewell to his mother carried emotional conviction. But his conception is otherwise on the stolid side. Replacing Alexander Sved, who had been originally scheduled to appear as Alfio, Mr. Warren, looking for all the world like Ahab in Melville's "Moby Dick," sang loudly but with foggy tones, some of which were indeterminate in pitch.

The Lola of Miss Kaskas was competently voiced, but almost as lymphatic as Mme. Roman's Santuzza. Miss Doe, a trifle too youthful in appearance to be Turiddu's mother, sang her music well.

Mr. Calusio seemed as bored with the procedure as anyone concerned, for his interpretation of the score was hardly in keeping with the tempestuous nature thereof, being dragged in its pacing and wanting in vitality.

Fortunately, with "Pagliacci" a decided change for a better, at least in some respects, occurred. Mr. Tibbett, it is true, after a promising account of the "Prologue," which seemed to indicate that he was in considerably better form than in last week's "Rigoletto," sounded tired when the curtains drew apart, and while his portrayal of the spurned, malevolent Tonio was dramatically vivid, it was totally disappointing, much of it being inaudible.

Miss Greco's Nedda is a well considered and admirably sung impersonation. This soprano has a dependable vocal technique and penetrates beneath the surface in her acting, which is spontaneous and graceful.

The volcanic intensity of Mr. Martinelli's singing of "Vesti la giubba" won him the greatest ovation of the evening, and Mr. Valentino delivered Silvio's music with genuine warmth and considerable tonal persuasiveness.

Mr. Calusio atoned to a great extent for his shortcomings in "Cavalleria" by the more exhilarating tempi and communicative fervor with which he invested Leoncavallo's music.



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