[Met Performance] CID:53080
Rigoletto {76} Metropolitan Opera House: 02/6/1912.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
February 6, 1912


RIGOLETTO {76}
Giuseppe Verdi--Francesco Maria Piave

Rigoletto...............Maurice Renaud
Gilda...................Luisa Tetrazzini [Last performance]
Duke of Mantua..........Enrico Caruso
Maddalena...............Louise Homer
Sparafucile.............Léon Rothier
Monterone...............Paolo Ananian
Borsa...................Angelo Badà
Marullo.................Bernard Bégué
Count Ceprano...........Vincenzo Reschiglian
Countess Ceprano........Helen Mapleson
Giovanna................Marie Mattfeld
Page....................Emma Borniggia

Conductor...............Giuseppe Sturani

Review in the New York Times:

BROADWAY BLOCKED BY THE OPERA CROWD
400 Standing Places Sold In Record Time and a Ticketless Man Arrested.

JUST TETRAZZINI AND CARUSO

They Sang Together for the First Time In Years in an All-Star Cast - Hence the Excitement.

Traffic was blocked on Broadway last evening, and it was as difficult to walk on the sidewalks as it is on New Year's eve; a performance of opera was responsible for this state of affairs. It occurred to somebody at the Metropolitan Opera House a week or so ago that a performance of "Rigoletto" with an old-fashioned all-star cast might draw a house of large proportions.

Events proved that this prognostication was quite correct. When the experiment was tried last evening, the crowd, even though it was not a subscription night and all the tickets had been placed on sale, was quite unprecedented. Recent seasons, at any rate, have seen nothing like it. About 8 o'clock it was impossible to walk past the theatre, the crowd was so great, and the line extended for over a block down Broadway.

One man who had no ticket tried to get in through the front door. He met with discouragement and finally was led out by John Brown to a policeman on the sidewalk, who escorted him to the Night Court, where he was charged with disorderly conduct. Mr. Bull, who has been at the front door far so long that no regular subscriber of the opera can remember anybody else there, said that he couldn't recall a similar night within the past five years, certainly not on an extra night. The employees of the house, however, handled the crowd in splendid shape. Opera-goers were rushed through the doors and into their seats as fast as possible. Earle Lewis and his assistants disposed of 400 standing places at the box office in the record time of twenty minutes.

The reason for all this excitement was the fact that Mme. Tetrazzini, Mrs. Homer, Messrs. Caruso. Renaud, and Rothier were gathered together on one stage. Star casts of this description were once common here. It is not so very long ago that Mme. Sembrich, Mr., Caruso, Mr. Scotti, and Mrs. Homer were often heard together in this opera. Casts including Mme. Melba, Mr. Bonci, and Mr, Renaud, have been heard at the Manhattan Opera House within recent years.

Lately, however, since Mme. Sembrich retired, Mr. Caruso has seldom appeared in operas demanding the services of light sopranos. He had not been heard as the Duke in "Rigoletto," for instance, for three years. Mrs. Homer, too, relinquished the role of Maddalena some time ago. Mme. Tetrazzini and Mr. Renaud, however, have sung their respective parts in the opera during the current season at this house.

An interesting feature of the performance was the fact that Mme. Tetrazzini and Mr. Caruso have not been heard together since the days, before either of them had achieved fame, when they were both singing in Russia. Of course, they had never sung together in New York before last night. They seemed to take delight in their appearance together, and after the duet in the second act they ran out again and again in response to such applause as is not often heard in this theatre.

The audience intermingled "bis" with its "bravos," but to no effect. As Mr. Caruso left the stage after the last recall Mme. Tetrazzini patted him on the back. The house laughed, but quickly subsided when she began to sing the "Caro Nome" air. Of course she received tribute for that. The other signals for great applause came after the duet between Mine. Tetrazzini and Mr. Renaud in the third act, after the quartet, and after the " La Donna Mobile" air.

All the singers were in good voice. Mr. Renaud has not been heard to such good advantage this season. His Rigoletto is always a consummate piece of acting. As for Mr. Caruso. it seems a pity that he can't sing parts like the Duke oftener, now that he has acquired a moderation and finesse which were often lacking in his performances when he first sang such parts here several years ago. It is pleasant, too, to hear Maddalena's music as well sung as it was.



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