[Met Performance] CID:140270
La Gioconda {149} Metropolitan Opera House: 12/21/1945.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 21, 1945


LA GIOCONDA {149}
Ponchielli-Boito

La Gioconda.............Zinka Milanov
Enzo....................Richard Tucker
Laura...................Risë Stevens
Barnaba.................Leonard Warren
Alvise..................Ezio Pinza
La Cieca................Margaret Harshaw
Zuàne...................Osie Hawkins
Isèpo...................Lodovico Oliviero
Monk....................William Hargrave
Steersman...............John Baker
Singer..................Wellington Ezekiel
Singer..................Richard Manning
Dance...................Peggy Smithers
Dance...................Anne Barlow
Dance...................Elissa Minet
Dance...................Ilona Murai
Dance...................Natasha Tzvetcova
Dance...................Lorraine Ammerman
Dance...................Marina Svetlova
Dance...................Edward Caton
Dance...................Josef Carmassi
Dance...................Leon Varkas

Conductor...............Emil Cooper

Director................Désiré Defrère
Set designer............Antonio Rovescalli
Set designer............Joseph Novak
Costume designer........Mathilde Castel-Bert
Choreographer...........Boris Romanoff

La Gioconda received eight performances this season.

Review signed M. C. in Musical Courier

"Gioconda" and Thrills

The first performance of the season of "La Gioconda," December 21, brought into play the best and weakest points of the opera's presentation at the Metropolitan. The cast included Zinka Milanov as the heroine; Rise Stevens as Laura Adorno: Ezio Pinza as Alvise; Margaret Harshaw, the blind mother; Richard Tucker, Enzo Grimaldo; Leonard Warren, Barnaba; Osie Hawkins, Zuane; Wellington Ezekiel and Richard Manning, two singers; Oliviero an Iseppo; William Hargrave as a Monk; and John Baker as the Steersman.

With Emil Cooper conducting, this was an adequate if not an altogether brilliant set-up. Pinza, as heretofore this year, dominated the stage with fluent voice and fine action. Tucker also sang notably well in "Cielo e Mar," with clear, vibrant tone. Milanov was in excellent form, the lustrous, velvety quality of her voice being suited to this romantic musical style, although one could wish for more dramatic point than she is demonstrating this season. A young, attractive Laura was presented by Miss Stevens, who will no doubt make this an outstanding characterization when the part is vocally as sure as it is histrionically. Warren was a thick-voiced villain, unnecessarily, as this excellent baritone can project his tones with clarity and fervor when he so desires. The remainder of the "personae" was adequate.

The ensemble singing and orchestral playing of the climactic moments were stupendous, much to the delight of a wildly enthusiastic audience. But this reporter is old-fashioned enough to miss the ballet of the old school, where the "Dance of the hours" was plotted authentically and was not just pretty scenic and twirl effects.



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