[Met Performance] CID:243070
La Gioconda {231} Metropolitan Opera House: 10/18/1975.

(Debuts: Allegra Kent, Giuseppe Patanč, Louis Johnson
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
October 18, 1975


LA GIOCONDA {231}
Ponchielli-Boito

La Gioconda.............Martina Arroyo
Enzo....................Giorgio Lamberti
Laura...................Mignon Dunn
Barnaba.................Matteo Manuguerra
Alvise..................Malcolm Smith
La Cieca................Fedora Barbieri
Zuāne...................Gene Boucher
Isčpo...................Nico Castel
Monk....................Edmond Karlsrud
Steersman...............Nicola Barbusci
Singer..................Paul De Paola
Singer..................William Mellow
Dance...................Allegra Kent [Debut]
Dance...................Antoinette Peloso
Dance...................Alastair Munro

Conductor...............Giuseppe Patanč [Debut]

Stage Director..........John Dexter
Designer................Beni Montresor
Choreographer...........Louis Johnson [Debut]

La Gioconda received sixteen performances this season.


Review of Allen Hughes in The New York Times

Ponchielli's "La Gioconda" will achieve the age of 100 during the current Metropolitan season (on April 8, to be precise), and to celebrate the anniversary the company has revived the work after a seven-year absence from its repertory.

This is no routine revival. John Dexter has restaged the work in Beni Montresor's lavish sets, the cast (except for Mignon Dunn as Laura) is a new one for the company, there is new choreography by Louis Johnson for the "Dance of the Hours" with Allegra Kent as the leading dancer in it, and a conductor new to the Metropolitan, Giuseppe Patané, is on the podium. It all added up to a handsome and on the whole successful production in its first presentation, Saturday night.

Martina Arroyo was in the title role, which proved to suit her well. It would be easy to imagine a more incandescent interpretation than hers, but the blessing of her voice and the sincerity of her approach to character portrayal make her a commendable if not thrilling Gioconda.

The part of Enzo was taken by Giorgio Casellato-Lamberti, who generated considerable excitement with his singing and looked and acted like a spirited young Venetian nobleman. Miss Dunn, too, was an energizing force as Laura. The brilliance of her mezzo-soprano went well with the voices of both Miss Arroyo and Mr. Casellato-Lamberti.


The casting of Fedora Barbieri as La Cieca could be regarded as either a result of genuine inspiration or a well-intentioned mistake. Miss Barbieri, an operatic veteran and powerful actress, makes the part of the old blind woman a vivid reality that her worn though still strong voice does much to reinforce. But if one thinks of "La Gioconda" as an opera in which beautiful vocal sound counts for more than anything else, the Barbieri sound is going to seem wrong.

Matteo Manuguerra sang impressively and communicated fully the malevolence of Barnaba, and Malcolm Smith as Alvise, was satisfactory. Mr. Patané's conducting was vital and seemed to give the singers and dancers the support and inspiration they needed to perform effectively.



Added Index Entries for Subjects and Names


Back to short citation(s).