[Met Performance] CID:49530
Rigoletto {70}
Ballet Divertissement
. Metropolitan Opera House: 12/30/1910.

(Debut: Dmitri Smirnoff

Metropolitan Opera House
December 30, 1910

Giuseppe Verdi--Francesco Maria Piave

Rigoletto...............Pasquale Amato
Gilda...................Lydia Lipkowska
Duke of Mantua..........Dmitri Smirnoff [Debut]
Maddalena...............Marianne Flahaut
Sparafucile.............Andrés De Segurola
Monterone...............Giulio Rossi
Borsa...................Angelo Badà
Marullo.................Bernard Bégué
Count Ceprano...........Vincenzo Reschiglian
Countess Ceprano........Helen Mapleson
Giovanna................Marie Mattfeld
Page....................Emma Borniggia

Conductor...............Vittorio Podesti


Tchaikovsky: Variations {7}
Mikail Mordkin

Polish Dances {7}
Bronislawa Pajitzskaia, Stanislava Kun, Stephania Plaskowietzkaia,
Alina Schmolz, Sergei Moroseff, Mikail Moisseiew, Alexis Trojanowski,
Veronine West

Valse Caprice {5}
Anna Pavlova, Mikail Mordkin

Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 {8}
Bronislawa Pajitzskaia, Stanislava Kun, Stephania Plaskowietzkaia, Alina Schmolz,
Sergei Moroseff, Mikail Moisseiew, Alexis Trojanowski, Veronine West

Glazunov: L'Automne Bacchanale {9}
Anna Pavlova, Mikail Mordkin

Conductor...............Theodore Stier

Unsigned review in unknown publication


Dmitri Smirnoff Makes American Debut - Miss Lipkowska as Heroine

A performance of "Rigoletto" at the Metropolitan Opera House last evening by no means upheld the standard created by past performance of the work at this theatre. The opera has been sung once before this season, but with an entirely different cast -and, it must be confessed, with much better effect.

Last evening a young Russian tenor, Dimitri Smirnoff, made his American debut, singing the part of the Duke. In a smaller theatre his voice might be more effective, as it is not without charm. It is rather white in quality, however, and his singing is exaggerated in style. His voice is also much too small for a large theatre. It is better to altogether waive a mention of this tenor's action, pleasant remarks could not be made about it at present. He is tall, however, and presents a good appearance. It may be that he will achieve more success in French opera.

Miss Lipkowska, from Russia and Boston, paid New York her first visit this season to sing Gilda. Miss Lipkowska is as slender and young and pretty as ever, but she does not cope successfully with the vocal difficulties that Verdi's heroine offers to the singer. Her singing of the "Caro Nome" was curiously uneven in merit, and she ended this air in quite a different key from that in which she commenced it. Mr. Podesti was kind and held his hand in the air, delaying the final orchestral chord after her cadenza until it was drowned in the applause which this air always brings, no matter how it is sung.

Miss Flahaut sang Maddalena on this occasion; Mr. Amato was the Rigoletto, and Mr. de Segurola the Sparafucile.

Verdi's opera was followed by a series of dances by the Russian dancers who reestablished the status of the art of Russia on a solid basis.

Another unsigned review in an unidentified publication

Dimitri Smirnoff Makes Debut and Mme. Lydia Lipkowska Is Heard in Role of Gilda


Stage Presence of Russian Singer Pleases - Mme.. Lipkowska's Voice Needs Careful Development

The performance of "Rigoletto" last night was the occasion of the debut of the new Russian tenor, Dimitri Smirnoff, and the appearance of Mlle. Lydia Lipkowska as Gilda. Both were young. Both had gifts. Both had certain crudities invariably associated with singers of the Eastern European school of singing.

At the same time M. Smirnoff has undoubtedly a voice of a most pleasing and musical quality save insofar as its whole effect is marred by a tendency to that fault known as the tremolo among the scientific, and the wobble among scoffers. The merest shadow of this grave error prevents in general acceptation and unconditional acceptation of a singer at least in New York, no matter how great his achievements may be in other respects. His handsome stage presence, the eagerness and wholesome freshness of his acting, and his real ability to phrase correctly and to speak the language of music lucidly and intelligently went far toward atoning for the deficiency we have mentioned.

Fine Stage Presence.

The girlishness of Mlle. Lipkowska's slender figure and maidenly features, the vernal and plaintive timbre of her voice recommended her strongly to the suffrages of her hearers. Her rendering of the "Caro Nome" was in parts brilliant and effective, but the medium of her voice - that morass teachers to all soprani - needs careful cultivation and laborious development.

Mme. Flahaut Bewitching.

Mme. Marianne Flahaut made a most bewitching Maddalena, and once again M. Perello y de Segurola looked as if he stepped out of a Velasquez. M. Amato as the hero of this sordid and sanguinary melodrama emphasized the better qualities of the varied and debased character of Rigoletto, and sang with that fluent and broad melodiousness which Dante might have described as an "expansion of wide river of song."

M. Vittorio Podesti conducted. The Russian dancers danced afterward.

Review of Reginald De Koven in the World


Rather Indifferent Performance of Verdi's Opera with Lipkowaka and Amato

What a difference between the musical artistic completeness of the performance of "King's Children" on Wednesday, a feather in the cap of any opera house - and the rather indifferent one of Verdi's "Rigoletto" at the Metropolitan last night. What a great thing is picturesque Boston!

Lipkowska, who appeared for the first time this season, has as much youth, beauty and appealing charms on her side that she would have been an unusually attractive Gilda had she sung far less well that she did. Her voice is so fresh and pretty in quality, quite charming in the higher register, and her artistic sincerity so evident, that one was ready to forgive her not singing the "Caro Nome" with the absolute finish of style of a Sembrich or a Melba, because of her evident gifts and the charming picture she made. Her action also was at all times graceful and sympathetic.

It is fair to say of the new Russian tenor, M. Smirnoff, late of St. Petersburg, who made a first appearance as the Duke, that his voice would count far more in a smaller auditorium. His style is good and his high notes pleasing, but the general quality of his voice is rather thin and reedy and without body when forced. He sang the "Donna e mobile" fluently and far better than the duet with Gilda. He will certainly not snatch any laurels from the present strong ensemble of Metropolitan tenors.

Amato as Rigoletto was a disappointment to me, but then Renaud is a hard man to follow. Dramatically Amato's interpretation was strenuous rather than subtle, and vocally his style did not fulfill the traditions of the role. He continually forced his voice, and his delivery of the soliloquy was rough and lacking in elegance. But a certain forceful sincerity marked his impersonation, which was impressive, and his scene with Gilda in the second act showed him at his best.

The balance of the cast, including Segurola, an excellent Sparafucile, and Flahaut as Maddalena, was as before and generally adequate.

Added Index Entries for Subjects and Names

Back to short citation(s).