[Met Performance] CID:181530
Rigoletto {390} Metropolitan Opera House: 03/21/1959.

(Debut: Cornell MacNeil
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
March 21, 1959


RIGOLETTO {390}
Giuseppe Verdi--Francesco Maria Piave

Rigoletto...............Cornell MacNeil [Debut]
Gilda...................Laurel Hurley
Duke of Mantua..........Barry Morell
Maddalena...............Rosalind Elias
Sparafucile.............William Wilderman
Monterone...............Norman Scott
Borsa...................Gabor Carelli
Marullo.................Calvin Marsh
Count Ceprano...........George Cehanovsky
Countess Ceprano........Madelaine Chambers
Giovanna................Mignon Dunn
Page....................Mildred Allen
Guard...................Louis Sgarro

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


Review of Eric Saltzman in The N. Y. Times
Sometimes an artist can plug along year in and year out without any breaks. Then, with a whoosh, he'll go right to the top. Cornell MacNeil, Minneapolis-born baritone, has just taken that dizzying ride. On March 5 the thirty-four-year-old singer made his successful European debut at La Scala in Milan, and Saturday night he made an unexpected but equally well received Metropolitan debut in the title role of Verdi's "Rigoletto."

Mr. MacNeil came through superbly. When he cut loose, the rafters trembled. But he did not forget to sing softly and lyrically. Only in the big scene in Act III, beginning "Cortigiani, vil razza dannata," were there any signs of strain or pushing.

At this point Mr. MacNeil's desire to produce and intense and moving dramatic moment led him to musical excess. Elsewhere he characterization was expressed with and within the music, the vocal and visual elements being effectively integrated. If this is not yet a great Rigoletto, it is certainly a very good one.



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