[Met Performance] CID:94690
La Gioconda {91} Metropolitan Opera House: 12/23/1926.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 23, 1926


LA GIOCONDA {91}

La Gioconda.............Rosa Ponselle
Enzo....................Beniamino Gigli
Laura...................Marion Telva
Barnaba.................Titta Ruffo
Alvise..................Ezio Pinza
La Cieca................Merle Alcock
Zune...................Vincenzo Reschiglian
Ispo...................Giordano Paltrinieri
Monk....................Louis D'Angelo
Steersman...............Pompilio Malatesta
Singer..................Vincenzo Reschiglian

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

Review signed M. W. in the New York Herald Tribune

'La Gioconda' Draws Big Crowd to Metropolitan

Gigli, Ponselle and Titta Ruffo Sing Bewildering Opera in Fine Form

"La Gioconda," for the third time in the young season, drew large and bewildered crowds to the Metropolitan last evening. Large because Gigli, Ponselle and Titta Ruffo were singing, bewildered because it seems doubtful if Arrigo Boito or Ponchielli himself ever fully mastered the intricacies of their own plot, and the average audience stops trying before the first curtain has fallen.

La Gioconda, who does even less smiling than the usual operatic heroine, has a puzzling way of appearing and disappearing, without any clear motivation, and thereby complicating even more an affair far too complicated already. The only philosophic thing to do during the course of this prodigally long and "grand" entertainment is to take it as a perfect specimen of its type, give up all delusion of being at that theater which "holds the mirror up to nature," and peacefully enjoy, as the composer intended you should, the singers of ornamental arias and ensembles by fine singers abundantly able to do so, for instance, those in last evening's cast.

Mr. Ruffo did, to be sure, infuse some plausible drama into the dark doings of Barnaba, but to indifferent singing, and that of Miss Ponselle, never in better form, and Mr. Gigli whose apostrophe of sky and sea ended in the usual tempest of applause. Escaping from the burning ship he turned an ankle, similarly wrenched a few weeks ago, but he limped bravely through the remainder of the opera. Two physicians, called to his dressing room, however, announced that he will wear a plaster cast for Christmas.

Other worthy impersonations were Miss Telva as Laura, Miss Alcock as La Cieca, and Messrs. Pinza, Reschiglian, D'Angelo, Paltrinieri and Malatesta contributing the necessary, but thankless, smaller roles. Mr. Serafin conducted.



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