[Met Performance] CID:186680
Rigoletto {398} Matinee Broadcast ed. Metropolitan Opera House: 12/31/1960., Broadcast

(Broadcast
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 31, 1960 Matinee Broadcast


RIGOLETTO {398}
Giuseppe Verdi--Francesco Maria Piave

Rigoletto...............Cornell MacNeil
Gilda...................Roberta Peters
Duke of Mantua..........Barry Morell
Maddalena...............Mignon Dunn
Sparafucile.............Giorgio Tozzi
Monterone...............Bonaldo Giaiotti
Borsa...................Gabor Carelli
Marullo.................Clifford Harvuot
Count Ceprano...........George Cehanovsky
Countess Ceprano........Teresa Stratas
Giovanna................Thelma Votipka
Page....................Joan Wall
Guard...................Paul De Paola

Conductor...............Nino Verchi

Director................Herbert Graf
Staged by...............Ralph Herbert
Designer................Eugene Berman
Choreographer...........Zachary Solov

Rigoletto received fourteen performances this season.

Review of Winston Locklair in the February 1961 issue of Musical America

After a season's absence, Verdi's "Rigoletto" returned to the Metropolitan for the New Year's Eve matinee. The theatre was completely sold out, with the maximum number of patrons straining behind the standees ropes.

"Rigoletto" is now 100 years old, the premiere having taken place at the Fenice Theatre, Venice, on Jan. 11, 1851. It was an enormous success then, and a century later it remains a stirring, melodious masterpiece.

Cornell MacNeil, in the title role, is not yet the ideal Rigoletto, but there is every reason to believe he may be. In the early scenes his voice sounded harsh, the top notes a trifle forced. But in the tense third act-his most important-the velvet quality of this baritone was most impressive.

Roberta Peters, in superb form, has always been a sweet and sympathetic Gilda. Her high notes in the "Caro nome" were beautifully spun out.

Barry Morell's acting of the Duke was rather wooden, but his singing was satisfying from "Questa o quella" right through to his closing canzone, "La donna e mobile." Giorgio Tozzi's Sparafucile is one of his best characterizations, and he deserved the cheers that went up when he took his bow at the end.

Mignon Dunn, singing her first Maddalena at the Metropolitan, gave a good account of this brief but important role. In smaller parts, Bonaldo Giaiotti, Teresa Stratas and Joan Wall were also playing their roles for the first time, and very well, too.

In the pit, Nino Verchi, leading his first Metropolitan "Rigoletto," did an estimable job, never allowing the orchestra to override the voices, and keeping the numerous choral ensembles well-balanced.



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