[Met Performance] CID:93020
Rigoletto {150} American Academy of Music, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 03/30/1926.

(Review)


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
March 30, 1926


RIGOLETTO {150}
Giuseppe Verdi--Francesco Maria Piave

Rigoletto...............Mario Basiola
Gilda...................Marion Talley
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........Phradie Wells
Giovanna................Henriette Wakefield
Page....................Paolina Tomisani

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

Review of Linton Martin in the Philadelphia Inquirer

TALLEY TRIUMPHS IN 'RIGOLETTO'

Young Prima Donna's First Actual Appearance Here in Opera Well Received

Marion Talley, Kansas City's coloratura "queen," had her first real operatic inning here when the Metropolitan management gave "Rigoletto" at the Academy last night. There was no indication in the offering of the Kansas City Booster's Club, or other evidence of machine-made applause. It was preeminently the evening of Miss Talley, and she make the most of it.

Although Miss Talley first sang here three weeks ago in Stravinsky's "Le Rossignol," last night's performance of "Rigoletto" marked her actual Philadelphia debut in a stage role. On the former occasion she did not appear in the performance, but sang from the musician's pit. So last night was not only in effect a repetition of her New York debut on February 17, but also afforded Philadelphians their first opportunity to see her act as well as sing, at least so far as the part of Gilda affords acting opportunities.

With the easy enthusiasms of a picturesque performance already a part of the past, Miss Talley has now reached a point where she must stand squarely upon her musical merits. She came completely through her difficult ordeal last night, singing with crystal clarity, admirable accuracy of intonation, and bringing the fine freshness and girlish grace of youth - the youth which cannot be counterfeited - to her performance. It would be absurd to say that she is a finished artist, that she ranks with the great Gildas of the past. There seems to be a fundamental lack of the quality commonly called "temperament," although a role like Gilda makes this difficult to determine, There is also a certain lack of color and of control; at least the tones were not always evenly supported. But, there can be no doubt of the lovely natural quality of her voice, of its lyric beauty and its fine flexibility. What deficiencies it exhibits are evidently those that will be offset by the ease born of experience. In appearance she is appealing, if not impressively pretty, and her wistfulness of manner was adequate for all the demands made by the acting.

So far as the others in the cast were concerned, the performance was even and able if hardly distinguished. Mario Basiola made his first appearance here with the Metropolitan in the title role. He has a smooth, full, well-placed baritone of commendable quality, and his acting was sincere, if not conspicuously forceful. Lauri-Volpi as the Duke was sufficiently romantic in appearance and sang acceptably. Merle Alcock as Maddalena, and the sonorous José Mardones as Sparafucile were of outstanding interest. Tullio Serafin conducted with his wonted dynamic energy and art.



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