[Met Performance] CID:89150
Rigoletto {141} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/28/1925.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 28, 1925


RIGOLETTO {141}
Giuseppe Verdi--Francesco Maria Piave

Rigoletto...............Vincente Ballester
Gilda...................Amelita Galli-Curci
Duke of Mantua..........Miguel Fleta [Last performance]
Maddalena...............Marion Telva
Sparafucile.............Léon Rothier
Monterone...............Paolo Ananian
Borsa...................Angelo Badà
Marullo.................Millo Picco
Count Ceprano...........Louis D'Angelo
Countess Ceprano........Laura Robertson
Giovanna................Grace Anthony
Page....................Paolina Tomisani

Conductor...............Tullio Serafin

Review of W. J. Henderson in the Sun

Galli-Curci Sings in 'Rigoletto'

It is never too cold to go to the opera. At any rate that was the deduction to be made from the attendance at the Metropolitan Opera House last evening, when that venerable but still sturdy work, Verdi's "Rigoletto," was sung. The army of foot soldiers behind the orchestra rail could hardly have been any larger if the weather had been more like that which blesses the coasts of the army's native land, for it was a formidable force and it was as warm in its approval as if the thermometer had been at 70 degrees.

The persons engaged in the principal doings of the lyric version of Hugo's "Le Roi's Amuse" were not all the same ones observed in previous performances. Mme. Amelita Galli-Curci as Gilda, Miguel Fleta as the gay young Duke of Mantua, Vincente Ballester as Rigoletto, Miss Marion Telva as Maddalena, and Leon Rothier as Sparafucile were the important singers though perhaps Paolo Ananian deserves mention because he impersonated Monterone, the outraged father who effectively cursed the fool in the first scene, thereby starting all the trouble.

The performance was one of a thousand of the same sort. The opera is conventional and it would require something like genius to lift it out of the ruts in which it rolls steadily through one decade after another. Only an operatic impersonator of the highest order in the name part could change the familiar aspect of "Rigoletto," and such impersonators are indeed rare. Mr. Ballester, a capable and conscientious person, not gifted with an extraordinary voice nor a vivid imagination, but able to do all things in accordance with the traditions, delivered a jester to the apparent satisfaction of the audience.

Mr. Fleta, who is one of the idols of opera going, really sang the music of the Duke with an infinite number of airs and graces. He was a handsome young man and wore good clothes. But some old opera goers would like for a change to see a Duke whose outstanding masculinity would make his Don Juan reputation more plausible.

Mme. Galli-Curci could not be expected to make anything dramatic out of the bleating Gilda. She might, however, sing the music with something more of brilliancy and less of apathy and with less frequent infidelity to the pitch. Furthermore, she has seemed, this season, to have difficulties in her upper middle register. It is to be hoped that these are only temporary. The voice is indeed one of uncommon beauty.



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