[Met Performance] CID:171150
Rigoletto {364} Metropolitan Opera House: 03/7/1956.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
March 7, 1956


RIGOLETTO {364}
Giuseppe Verdi--Francesco Maria Piave

Rigoletto...............Ettore Bastianini
Gilda...................Dolores Wilson
Duke of Mantua..........Eugene Conley
Maddalena...............Rosalind Elias
Sparafucile.............Nicola Moscona
Monterone...............Norman Scott
Borsa...................Gabor Carelli
Marullo.................Clifford Harvuot
Count Ceprano...........George Cehanovsky
Countess Ceprano........Maria Leone
Giovanna................Thelma Votipka
Page....................Vilma Georgiou
Guard...................Louis Sgarro

Conductor...............Fausto Cleva


Review of Robert Sabin in the 3/15/1956 issue of Musical America

This performance introduced Ettore Bastianini in his first Rigoletto here, and Dolores Wilson appeared as Gilda for the first time this season. Mr. Bastianini, who is equipped with a luscious baritone, was dramatically thrilling in this role. He expressed all of the nuances of bitterness, fear, and tenderness in the character. At times one sensed his nervousness in his voice, particularly in the second-act duet with Gilda. However, many moments reflected vocal splendor and moving drama, especially the "Pari siamo" and his enormously intense "Cortigiani." There remain some vocal problems for Mr. Bastianini, but in terms of communicating character he was uncommonly convincing.

At this performance, in the top register, Miss Wilson's singing revealed effort. This might seem strange for a coloratura soprano who specializes in high tones. But actually Miss Wilson was singing high Cs, Ds, and E flats in her natural voice. Unlike those coloraturas who develop a manufactured production that results in small whistle stops, Miss Wilson preferred to take the hard way. The one F she did produce during the performance was big and lustrous. Histrionically, she was vivid and human; her third and fourth acts were carried off with great conviction.

Fausto Cleva conducted, and the familiar cast included Eugene Conley, Nicola Moscona and Rosalind Elias.



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