[Met Performance] CID:136250
Rigoletto {249} Matinee Broadcast ed. Metropolitan Opera House: 12/18/1943., Broadcast

(Broadcast
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 18, 1943 Matinee Broadcast


RIGOLETTO {249}
Giuseppe Verdi--Francesco Maria Piave

Rigoletto...............Leonard Warren
Gilda...................Lily Pons
Duke of Mantua..........Charles Kullman
Maddalena...............Anna Kaskas
Sparafucile.............Nicola Moscona
Monterone...............Osie Hawkins
Borsa...................Alessio De Paolis
Marullo.................George Cehanovsky
Count Ceprano...........Walter Cassel
Countess Ceprano........Thelma Votipka
Giovanna................Thelma Altman
Page....................Edith Herlick

Conductor...............Cesare Sodero


Review of Noel Straus in The New York Times

WARREN IN DEBUT HERE AS RIGOLETTO

Replaces Tibbett Who is Ill, on Short Notice - Pons Sings Gilda. Kullman the Duke

Verdi's "Rigoletto" received its second presentation of the season yesterday afternoon at the Metropolitan, with Leonard Warren, who replaced Lawrence Tibbett on short notice, appearing here in the title role for the first time. Mr. Warren, who had been the leading baritone in "Ballo in Maschera" the previous evening, did not learn definitely that he was to participate in the "Rigoletto" matinee until 11 o'clock yesterday morning when the management was informed that Mr. Tibbett was too ill to attempt the part. It was, therefore, under trying circumstances that the young artist sang the buffoon's difficult music. But he was thoroughly conversant with it, having been heard as Rigoletto fifteen times in South America during the last two summer seasons there.

His portrayal was seriously considered, and if it reached no great heights and proved more conventional than distinguished, it was free of exaggerations and made a generally favorable impression. At all events he was to be complimented on his pluck in saving the management from an embarrassing situation and making the debut against such odds.

To fully envisage the role's histrionic requirements asks for a mature artist of long experience. That Mr. Warren would find it possible to toe the mark in the delineation of its wide gamut of moods was hardly to be expected of so youthful a protagonist. The episodes of paternal tenderness were but partly realized, and it was only now and again, as in the taunting of Monterone and the first half of the "Cortigiani" aria, that the interpretation became fully convincing. In fact, the aria in question started off with exceptional power in its outpouring of elemental rage. And in the "Pari siamo" of the preceding act the fluctuating moods were ably, though not grippingly, evoked. All of the music, however, was pleasingly and sometimes impressively sung, especially in moments asking for the full volume of the voice, with its brilliant top.

Charles Kullman, sang with nicety of melodic line, but had his troubles with the higher tones allotted the Duke. Except that Thelma Votipka substituted for Maxine Stellman as the Countess the rest of the cast remained as before, with Miss Pons at her best as Gilda, Anna Kaskas as Maddalena, Nicola Moscona as Sparafucile and Osie Hawkins as Monterone. Cesare Sodero again was the conductor.



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