[Met Performance] CID:89660
Rigoletto {143} Metropolitan Opera House: 03/6/1925.

(Reviews)


Metropolitan Opera House
March 6, 1925


RIGOLETTO {143}
Giuseppe Verdi--Francesco Maria Piave

Rigoletto...............Giuseppe De Luca
Gilda...................Elvira de Hidalgo
Duke of Mantua..........Giacomo Lauri-Volpi
Maddalena...............Jeanne Gordon
Sparafucile.............José Mardones
Monterone...............Louis D'Angelo
Borsa...................Angelo Badà
Marullo.................Millo Picco
Count Ceprano...........Vincenzo Reschiglian
Countess Ceprano........Minnie Egener
Giovanna................Grace Anthony
Page....................Paolina Tomisani

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

Review of W. J. Henderson in the New York Sun:

Verdi's "Rigoletto" and a crowded house. That might be a complete story of last evening at the Metropolitan Opera House. It has been remarked here more than once that the famous maestro's musical drama, founded on Victor Hugo's "Le Roi s'Amuse," seems to be the favorite work of the Italians who dwell in the cosmopolis of the Western Hemisphere. It matters little why they exalt the opera to the supreme place in their affections. The fact remains that whenever it is given every inch of space not given over to subscribers is occupied by enthusiasts who applaud long and vociferously. And among them one may hear every dialect from Sicillian to Neapolitan.

There was nothing of startling novelty in the performance. Mme. Elvira de Hidalgo, who had been heard earlier in the season, was the Gilda. She was in possession of her best vocal abilities, which are of pleasing quality but not of distinction. She sang her music creditably and conventionally portrayed the sufferings of a helpless victim of circumstances. Mr. De Luca as the jester repeated an impersonation which is entirely commendable within well established lines. Mr. Lauri-Volpi again represented the volatile young Duke and eloquently expressed his opinion of women in high tones.

Mr. Mardones as the mercenary desperado Sparafucile and Miss Gordon as the Mantuan vamp Maddalena were other members of a well-balanced cast. Mr. Serafin at the conductor's desk exercised taste and authority.



Review of Pitts Sanborn in the Telegram

Elvira de Hidalgo as Gilda

What was said to be the last performance of "Rigoletto" at the Metropolitan Opera House for this season, yesterday evening , had a special spicing the first local Gilda of Elvira de Hidalgo. The Spanish soprano, be it remembered, returned to us after many years and did a really brilliant Rosina at the Metropolitan Thanksgiving night. Thereupon she absented herself again until yesterday.

Her singing of Gilda had commendable qualities. She disclosed a feeling for style; her phrasing, if sometimes personal unto herself, had skill; her treatment of ornaments was often eminently neat. But the care with which she prepared her effects robbed her singing of spontaneity; a thin thread of vinegar was apt to cross the honey of her voice, and her intonation was by no means flawless.

After all, it is a foolish thing for singers to try to adorn Gilda's music with extreme high notes that Verdi did not write (and some of the most memorable of Gildas, Melba, for instance, have not seen fit to add) unless they are tolerably sure of delivering those notes in tune and otherwise agreeably. Nevertheless, there was much to commend in Mme. De Hidalgo's singing yesterday.

The Maestro Serafin conducted this performance with affectionate care. Mr. de Luca gave it the benefit of his finely wrought Rigoletto. Never does the wicked Duke seem quite so wicked as when Mr. Lauri-Volpi sings him. Of all and sundry, a very large audience had abundant joy.



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