[Met Performance] CID:92440
Rigoletto {147} Metropolitan Opera House: 02/17/1926.

(Debut: Marion Talley
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
February 17, 1926


RIGOLETTO {147}
Giuseppe Verdi--Francesco Maria Piave

Rigoletto...............Giuseppe De Luca
Gilda...................Marion Talley [Debut]
Duke of Mantua..........Giacomo Lauri-Volpi
Maddalena...............Merle Alcock
Sparafucile.............José Mardones
Monterone...............Paolo Ananian
Borsa...................Angelo Badà
Marullo.................Millo Picco
Count Ceprano...........Vincenzo Reschiglian
Countess Ceprano........Nannette Guilford
Giovanna................Grace Anthony
Page....................Paolina Tomisani

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


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

Miss Marion Talley, a young singer from Kansas City, made her first appearance at the Metropolitan Opera House last evening, assuming the role of Gilda in "Rigoletto." Miss Talley's previous experiences in the lyric drama had been confined to her hometown, which has a civic opera organization. The emergence on the stage of the Metropolitan of a girl with so little experience calls to mind the official declaration of a few years ago that the house was not a kindergarten and that only singers of established reputation could be permitted to appear. On the other hand it is quite proper that if an American has been discovered who measures up to the standards of the theater she should be allowed to disclose her gifts first of all to her countrymen.

The young soprano possesses a good voice of the right type for the rôles generally described in these days as "coloratura" parts. It is not a voice of extraordinary range, nor of much volume. It could not be called a true "voix d'or," as the French name it, but it has some good metal. The luster of this metal was dimmed last evening not by nervousness, of which the singer showed few signs, but by a radically incorrect placement of tones. This displayed itself chiefly in a sacrifice of the body and firmness of the medium register in search for brilliancy in the upper tones. The latter were all produced in a hard, pinched manner which made them harsh
and strident. They frequently sounded as if they were brought out only by spasmodic effort. And they differed wholly in quality from the medium. The middle tones were hollow and tended to show a tremolo. Many of the attacks were scooped and others were breathy. Both of these errors may have come from nervousness. The generally bad placement and separation of the voice into two distinct sections was due to bad technic. The young woman could not be expected to show a command of stage business. But her treatment of the musical phrase might have shown either musical instinct or the intelligence of the musician. There were many exhibitions of a want of both.

Probably the new soprano might achieve a higher artistic success if she would abandon her present vocal method and acquire a sound one. But it is unlikely that this will happen. Singers with methods fundamentally wrong usually patch them up rather than acquire new ones. Miss Talley may perhaps make a career for herself just as she is. It is easier to achieve success in opera than it used to be. Mr. Gatti-Casazza gave Miss Talley a good cast to help her, and its members were all trying to give the Kansas City delegation its money's worth. The opera as a whole went with a vigor and doubtless the visitors had a happy evening.



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