[Met Performance] CID:216660
Rigoletto {467} Metropolitan Opera House: 11/20/1968.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
November 20, 1968


RIGOLETTO {467}
Giuseppe Verdi--Francesco Maria Piave

Rigoletto...............Robert Merrill
Gilda...................Gianna D'Angelo, Act I [Last performance]
Gilda...................Colette Boky, Acts II, III
Duke of Mantua..........Carlo Bergonzi
Maddalena...............Shirley Love
Sparafucile.............Justino Díaz
Monterone...............Bonaldo Giaiotti
Borsa...................Gabor Carelli
Marullo.................Gene Boucher
Count Ceprano...........Paul Plishka
Countess Ceprano........Loretta Di Franco
Giovanna................Carlotta Ordassy
Page....................Judith Forst
Guard...................Paul De Paola

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

Review of Robert T. Jones in The New York Times

Audience for Met 'Rigoletto' Boos a Soprano

The normally placid audience at the Metropolitan Opera got into the act last night. The occasion was a performance of Verdi's "Rigoletto," with Gianna d'Angelo, Carlo Bergonzi and Robert Merrill. Miss d'Angelo, in obvious vocal difficulties, managed a duet with Mr. Merrill and another one with Mr. Bergonzi. Then she began GiIda's showy aria, "Caro nome." Laboring steadily, she managed to finish it.

There was silence and then an uproar. Boos, shrieks and indecipherable insults rained down from the balconies and were even hurled from the orchestra section. Miss d'Angelo stood quietly through the uproar, although she has been accustomed to applause during her six years at the Metropolitan.

Fausto Cleva, who was conducting, could do little to stop the demonstration, since the soft, quiet music that followed could not be heard. Finally, the noise stopped and Miss d'Angelo left the stage, singing her final brief phrases. A small part of the audience applauded violently, in an obvious gesture of sympathy. After a long intermission, the management announced from the stage that Miss d"Angelo "was suddenly indisposed" and that Colette Boky, another soprano, would continue in the role.

Miss d'Angelo made her Met debut as Gilda, Raymond Ericson wrote in The New York Times that "she sang with the self-confidence that comes with technical security and faultless pitch. She was able to toss off coloratura passages while moving swiftly across the stage. It was a total achievement of high quality and she deserves to sing at the Metropolitan often."

Demonstrations of disapproval by the audience are nearly unheard of at the Met and other American opera houses, although they are common abroad. In New York audiences have usually been polite to the point of blandness. Their kindness to aging artists is legend, and their sympathy with ailing singers boundless.

"Miss d'Angelo was excellent from two days ago," Mr. Cleva commented after the performance. "Perhaps she caught a chill, or had a lowering of the voice, or a closure of the vocal cords. It happens to the greatest artists. I thought it most unfair for the audience to treat her so badly."



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