[Met Performance] CID:143970
La Gioconda {157} Metropolitan Opera House: 02/12/1947.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
February 12, 1947


LA GIOCONDA {157}
Ponchielli-Boito

La Gioconda.............Zinka Milanov
Enzo....................Richard Tucker
Laura...................Risë Stevens
Barnaba.................Leonard Warren
Alvise..................Giacomo Vaghi
La Cieca................Margaret Harshaw
Zuàne...................Osie Hawkins
Isèpo...................Lodovico Oliviero
Monk....................Lorenzo Alvary
Steersman...............John Baker
Singer..................William Hargrave
Singer..................Leslie Chabay
Dance...................Peggy Smithers
Dance...................Nina Boneck
Dance...................Elissa Minet
Dance...................Ilona Murai
Dance...................Francesca Ludova
Dance...................Lorraine Ammerman
Dance...................Alice Temkin
Dance...................Irene Hawthorne
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 three performances this season.

Review of Oliver J. Gingold in the Wall Street Journal

"La Gioconda"

The first performance this season at the Metropolitan Opera of Ponchielli's "La Gioconda" (The Ballad Singer) was given Wednesday night. It was a fine piece of work throughout, replete with exquisite arias and gay as well as dramatic acting. Ponchiielli's score shows the effect Wagner's school had at that time on Italian opera. "La Gioconda" includes themes which crop up throughout the year. Further, the orchestra challenges the singers and the audience can always fall back on the beautiful music if the voices are not pleasing. Conductor Emil Cooper made the most of the occasion and often built up thrilling effects.

The ballet's work was highlighted by the famous "Dance of the Hours," in the second scene of the third act. Choreographer Boris Romanoff did a top job. The company's ballet, immeasurably improved this season, was at its best Wednesday night.

Zinka Milanov as La Gioconda was inspiring and her rich soprano "never" wavered. Margaret Harshaw as La Cieca, with some of the most touching music in the score, made the most of it. The Enzo of Richard Tucker was satisfactory and his rendition of the beautiful aria, "Cielo e Mar" in the second act brought applause. His voice, however, was not quite big enough at times. Leonard Warrern as Barnaba acted the villain well and his magnificent baritone was in full play. The Alvise Badoero of Giacomo Vaghi was well portrayed with restraint both in voice and histrionics. Rise Stevens was in a comfortable role as Laura. Choral effects showed good rehearsing by Kurt Adler. Scenic effects were magnificent and stage direction exemplary.



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