[Met Performance] CID:162110
The Rake's Progress {4} Metropolitan Opera House: 02/27/1953.


Metropolitan Opera House
February 27, 1953


Tom Rakewell............Eugene Conley
Anne Trulove............Hilde Güden
Nick Shadow.............Mack Harrell
Baba the Turk...........Jean Madeira
Trulove.................Norman Scott
Mother Goose............Jean Madeira
Sellem..................Paul Franke
Keeper..................Lawrence Davidson

Conductor...............Fritz Reiner

Review of Jay S. Harrison in the Herald Tribune

Jean Madeira sings Double Role at Met

Plays Baba, Mother Goose in 'Rake's Progress'

Jean Madeira sang a double role in last night's presentation of Stravinsky's "The Rake's Progress" at the Metropolitan Opera House. Miss Madeira had originally been scheduled to appear only as Baba the Turk, but the last-minute indisposition of Martha Lipton required that Miss Madeira take over the part of Mother Goose as well. Other cast members were Eugene Conley as Tom Rakewell, Mack Harrell as Nick Shadow; Norman Scott as Trulove, Hilde Gueden as Anne, Paul Franke as Sellem and Lawrence Davidson as the Keeper of the Madhouse. Fritz Reiner was conductor.

For the occasion, Miss Madeira split her personality with remarkable finesse. As Mother Goose, the brothel keeper, she was blousy, frowsy, a hearty wench of obvious passions. As Baba she was, by turns cajoling and imperious, mischievous and evil. The latter character, moreover, is not a simple one to undertake, since no one seems quite sure who or what the bearded lady is meant to represent. It is, therefore, all in Miss Madeira's favor that she was able to make her impersonation both credible and stage-worthy.

Vocally, also, Miss Madeira was in striking form. Her Mother Goose portrayal, immeasurably aided by Stravinsky's low-lying melodic line, enabled the mezzo to release a barrage of dark, warm and ringing tones. And though the role of Baba demands scale-wise ascents that Miss Madeira could not everywhere master, her reading was none the less backed with color and sturdy in its singing.

Review signed J. B. in The New York Times

Jean Madeira Sings Baba, Substitutes as Mother Goose in 'Rake's Progress'

Jean Madeira, who had been scheduled to make her first appearance as Baba, the bearded lady, at last night's performance of "The Rake's Progress" at the Metropolitan Opera House, on short notice undertook to substitute as Mother Goose as well.

Although it is not unheard-of for one artist to sing two roles in a single performance, this usually happens with smaller parts. Miss Madeira. however, was the only artist who had sung both Baba and Mother Goose at rehearsals. Consequently, when Martha Lipton, originally cast as Mother Goose, became indisposed yesterday, Miss Madeira took both roles.

A versatile performer Miss Madeira gave a good account of herself in both parts. Wearing a carrot-red wig, she made a very stylish madam in the brothel scene. Even a brief part such as this offers opportunities for characterization, and Miss Madeira's singing and acting showed that she had prepared the role with care.

Somehow or other Miss Madeira managed to change into the bearded lady's costume in time for the second scene of Act II, and gave an assured performance of that role also. It was not only a different role, but an entirely different characterization. Miss Madeira's part of the performance was an impressive display of stage versatility and, in addition, offered some of the evening's most impressive singing.

Heard in roles they had assumed at earlier performances were Norman Scott, Hilde Gueden, Eugene Conley, Mack Harrell, Paul Franke, and Lawrence Davidson. Fritz Reiner conducted.

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