[Met Performance] CID:138980
Rigoletto {260} Metropolitan Opera House: 02/24/1945.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
February 24, 1945


RIGOLETTO {260}
Giuseppe Verdi--Francesco Maria Piave

Rigoletto...............Leonard Warren
Gilda...................Mimi Benzell
Duke of Mantua..........Bruno Landi
Maddalena...............Anna Kaskas
Sparafucile.............William Hargrave
Monterone...............Osie Hawkins
Borsa...................Alessio De Paolis
Marullo.................George Cehanovsky
Count Ceprano...........John Baker
Countess Ceprano........Maxine Stellman
Giovanna................Thelma Altman
Page....................Thelma Altman

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

Review of Noel Straus in The New York Times

BENZELL IN DEBUT AS GILDA AT OPERA

Takes Role in "Rigoletto" for First Time at Metropolitan - Warren in Lead

Mimi Benzell assumed the role of Gilda in Verdi's "Rigoletto" for the first time last night at the Metropolitan Opera House, where the popular work received its fifth performance of the season. The rest of the cast was composed of artists familiar in the parts allotted them.

Miss Benzell's characterization was girlish and simple, and she used her light lyric voice with the agility and flexibility, if little of the brilliance, demanded of a true coloratura soprano. Her singing was clean, accurate and musical, always disclosing a nice feeling for melodic line and contour of phrase, and there was a commendable avoidance of pushing on the small tones to give them more than their inherent amount of volume.

The "Caro nome" was sung with technical security, refinement and charm, and the E in alt of the additional measures after the close of the aria was firm and on pitch, though wanting in weight. All of the lyric music of the second act boasted expressiveness and sympathetic feeling. But neither vocally nor histrionically did the youthful artist prove capable of the dramatic forcefulness and power needed in the big scene with Rigoletto in the following act, and here the tones lost their steadiness in the sustained measures of the "Tutte le feste al tempio."

Leonard Warren was entrusted with the name part and rest of the principals included Bruno Landi as the Duke, Anna Kaskas as Maddalena, William Hargrave as Sparafucile, and Osie Hawkins as Monterone. Cesare Sodero conducted.



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