[Met Performance] CID:42280
Rigoletto {59} Metropolitan Opera House: 12/7/1908.

(Debut: Frances Alda
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 7, 1908


RIGOLETTO {59}
Giuseppe Verdi--Francesco Maria Piave

Rigoletto...............Pasquale Amato
Gilda...................Frances Alda [Debut]
Duke of Mantua..........Enrico Caruso
Maddalena...............Louise Homer
Sparafucile.............Adamo Didur
Monterone...............Enzo Bozzano
Borsa...................Giuseppe Tecchi
Marullo.................Paolo Ananian
Count Ceprano...........Alessandro Tretti
Countess Ceprano........Helen Mapleson
Giovanna................Paula Wöhning
Page....................Emma Borniggia
Dance...................Gina Torriani

Conductor...............Francesco Spetrino

Unsigned review in The New York Times

'RIGOLETTO' AT METROPOLITAN

Mme. Alda Makes her First Appearance as Gilda - Mr. Amato as Rigoletto.

Verdi's "Rigoletto," which had been given once before this season at the Metropolitan Opera House at a Saturday night performance, was repeated there last evening. It was hardly fortunate that the new management, entrenched for three years in its control of the house, should have marked its entrance on its unqualified and undisputed power by a performance of Verdi's opera that was below rather than above the level upon which "Rigoletto" has been given there for some years.

The lower level was entirely due to the new singers who appeared in the cast, Mr. Amato, who had appeared before in the part of Rigoletto at the previous performance last month, and Mme. Alda, the new soprano of the company, whom the Monday night audience was privileged to hear make her first appearance on the stage of the Metropolitan. It takes more than Mr. Caruso's magnificence of tone and thrilling singing of "La donna e mobile" and other less important airs that fall to him and Mme. Homer's beautiful voice in the comparatively minor part of Maddalena to make "Rigoletto" tolerable.

The burden falls chiefly upon the baritone who impersonates the Duke's jester, and only to a less degree upon the Gilda. Mr. Amato, who took the part of Rigoletto, presented only a respectable, a competent impersonation of it. His voice, though it is neither a noble nor a powerful one, is effective and can compass the music effectively, yet there were passages in which he sang out of tune. His acting in it is of the same respectable sort, that gives the exterior effect, but little of the poignancy or tragic power that greater artists have found in the character of Rigoletto.

The privilege of hearing Mme. Alda's debut did not appear to be a high one, nor was it highly estimated by the audience. She has a voice of very moderate beauty of quality, which in its higher ranges verges, and sometimes more than verges, on stridence and shrillness, and is then also frequently false in intonation. Her art in singing is not notable, and in such passages as require a fine cantabile or dexterous manipulation of the florid graces of song, or delicacy and precision of vocal production, her achievements were not more than passable.

As an actress she showed familiarity with the stage, but little that approximated to dramatic talent or that lifted her above a commonplace level of operatic performance. She seemed, in fact, out of place on the Metropolitan stage in a performance for which a different sort of standard has been set on that stage heretofore.

Mr. Didur as Sparafucile was reasonably successful and the minor parts were represented with little distinction, though that of Montorone is of a sort which an artistic singer can make really impressive. But Mr. Enzo Bozzano is not such a one. Mr. Spetrino conducted, and did his duty. The audience listened to this performance of "Rigoletto" without signs of profound emotion.




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