[Met Performance] CID:90370
Il Trovatore {148} Public Auditorium, Cleveland, Ohio: 04/29/1925.


Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland Public Auditorium
April 29, 1925

Giuseppe Verdi--Salvatore Cammarano

Manrico.................Giovanni Martinelli
Leonora.................Rosa Ponselle
Count Di Luna...........Giuseppe Danise
Azucena.................Marion Telva
Ferrando................Louis D'Angelo
Ines....................Grace Anthony
Ruiz....................Giordano Paltrinieri
Gypsy...................Vincenzo Reschiglian

Conductor...............Gennaro Papi

Review of James H. Rogers in the Cleveland Plain Dealer


Ponselle and Martinelli Win Seven Minutes Applause, and Repeat Number


For seven minutes by the clock last night's Public Hall audience applauded Rosa Ponselle, Giovanni Martinelli and the Metropolitan chorus and orchestra after the "Miserere" scene in Verdi's "Il Trovatore." As Vaudeville parlance has it, the performance was stopped, and it was not allowed to proceed until a part of the scene had been repeated.

In an earlier act the baritone Giuseppe Danise, accomplished much the same feat, or came near to it. For it looked for a time as though he would have to sing his "Il Balen" over again. What if, in the case of the 'Miserere,' the time honored rule of operatic routine were violated, the action interrupted, the well known dramatic unities given a jolt? Pulses were stirred. A vast assemblage of music loving people were roused to high enthusiasm.

More than that, singers and players, not to forget the conductor, felt the glow that comes as a rich reward of artistic endeavor. All of which may, or may not, as you will, denote the loftiest purpose of the musical art. Yet there will be many to dispute whether it has any better worth than to move the emotions with such potency.

Not that this score of Verdi is the greatest of operas. In fact, the composer of it has written better ones himself. With all its buoyancy and spontaneity and freshness of invention, it is more than a bit bombastic, with its swashbuckling and sword play and incessant top notes and climactic thrillers. All the more was the performance a triumph of vocalism and of stagecraft in its avoidance of overemphasis.

We have already names three of the principals of the cast. It is not too much to say that Miss Ponselle has one of the most beautiful as well as one of the most opulent soprano voices that was ever heard from the stage of any opera house. But she is not too prodigal of those full throated tones. Not only is her voice of superb quality; she knows how to modulate it to gentleness with rare skill. A great singer, this young woman from Meridan, Connecticut.

Jeanne Gordon announced to sing the part of Azucena, was unable to appear. And in her place the role was assumed by Marion Telva, who held her own in the remarkable cast in splendid style, and won her hearers completely. Miss Telva sings with dramatic fire, and she is the possessor of a mezzo soprano voice full as to volume, musical as to texture, and immensely telling in the upper range. She contributed some of the finest moments to an evening that was well supplied with them. There was great applause for Miss Telva.

Martinelli is Magnificent

As for Mr. Martinelli, tenors may come and tenors may go, but better equipped ones, if any, will be few and far between. We have never heard his voice in more perfect condition. He was, in a word, magnificent. We have already told of the acclaim that greeted Mr. Martinelli's efforts on one occasion. It was not only one. Nor was the "Il Balen" of Mr. Danise his only, though it was his most conspicuous, success. An admirable vocalist. His delivery of the aria to which we have referred was a model of finished cantabile singing.

Louis D'Angelo was a forceful Ferrando, Giordano Paltrinieri a competent Ruiz and Grace Anthony a smoothly lyrical and properly sympathetic Inez. The credit for a genuinely admirable performance, in which both chorus and orchestra were alike excellent, should go in a very large part to the support and resourceful conductor Gennaro Papi.

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