[Met Performance] CID:255330
Rigoletto {558} Metropolitan Opera House: 10/20/1978.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
October 20, 1978


RIGOLETTO {558}
Giuseppe Verdi--Francesco Maria Piave

Rigoletto...............Cornell MacNeil
Gilda...................Judith Blegen
Duke of Mantua..........Neil Shicoff
Maddalena...............Isola Jones
Sparafucile.............Kurt Moll
Monterone...............John Cheek
Borsa...................James Atherton
Marullo.................Robert Goodloe
Count Ceprano...........Philip Booth
Countess Ceprano........Loretta Di Franco
Giovanna................Ariel Bybee
Page....................Alma Jean Smith
Guard...................Domenico Simeone

Conductor...............Giuseppe Patanč

Review of Robert Jacobson in Opera News

Last season's new "Rigoletto," directed by Dexter, has settled into the repertory, now led with idiomatic expertise by Giuseppe Patané (seen Oct. 20), who combines a flawless sense of drama and pulse with mellowness. But what he achieved in the pit was not reflected onstage - it looked more like a reading rehearsal than a performance. Cornell MacNeil remains a phenomenon after all these years, with his gold-standard baritone in rock-solid form, the tone thrilling; but his casual performance, in need of a director, looked careless in detail and showed contempt for his public. As the Duke, Neil Shicoff had moments of beauty and focused tone, others of dryness and disintegrating tone. Uneven in quality and power, he tended to chop phrase endings, failing to follow through to keep the line alive. As a performer he lacked that crucial self-awareness, and his womanizing did not seem convincing, but his clear, youthful sound got into high gear for a lively final act. Judith Blegen's Gilda had no limits of scrupulous phrasing, lovely floating high notes and basic appeal, but she sang Verdi's music as if it were a Bach cantata, without involvement, warmth or vocal body. "Caro nome" emerged like a vocalise, and she is too fine an artist for growth to be stunted at this stage. Kurt Moll ran away with the honors, rolling out his rich carpet of bass sound as Sparafucile; but John Cheek's young bass lent little weight or sonority to Monterone's curses.



Added Index Entries for Subjects and Names


Back to short citation(s).