[Met Performance] CID:96380
Il Trovatore {156} Washington Auditorium, Washington, D.C.: 04/23/1927.


Washington, D.C.
April 23, 1927

Giuseppe Verdi--Salvatore Cammarano

Manrico.................Giovanni Martinelli
Leonora.................Rosa Ponselle
Count Di Luna...........Mario Basiola
Azucena.................Julia Claussen
Ferrando................Léon Rothier
Ines....................Grace Anthony
Ruiz....................Giordano Paltrinieri
Gypsy...................Arnold Gabor

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

Review signed H. F. in the Washington Sunday Star


Metropolitan Opera Co. Closes Season in Climax of Success

The Metropolitan Opera Co. closed a short but memorable season of opera in Washington last night when the most distinguished and enthusiastic of the audiences of thousands assembled for all three performances applauded vigorously after each aria and duet in that favorite work, "Il Trovatore," by the dean of Italian opera, Giuseppe Verdi, as presented by leading artists at the Washington Auditorium. The audience included quite a number of people from Richmond and other nearby towns as well as leaders in the Capitol's social circles. There were between 4,000 and 5,000 in the audience.

All four operas were suing here were of the Italian school and sung in that language. No single performance stood out with the brilliance of the "Trovatore" of last night, when Rosa Ponselle, beautiful dramatic soprano, took about a dozen curtain calls - so many that one lost count - and threw American beauties from her huge bouquet to Maestro Serafin and members of the orchestra. She was quite the star of the entire performance, although Giovanni Martinelli offered a perfect foil vocally and histrionically for her Leonora in his singing of the hero's role, Manrico.

They both sang their arias, so familiar and melodious, excellently. Ponselle singing with warmth and feeling and exquisite prolonged notes in the legitimate places and Martinelli showing conviction and sureness in the robust beauty of his work. The grand climax was, of course, in the famous "Miserere," which the two singers did superbly and won many recalls.

Martinelli Is Excellent

Martinelli, too, was excellent in the two duets with Azucena, the gypsy mother, the familiar "Back to our Mountains" being especially enjoyed by the consistently enthusiastic audience. Julia Claussen as Azucena was very good and her acting was perhaps better even than her vocal power.

Mario Basiola in the role of the Count also won his laurels with fine singing and interpretation, and the other minor roles were adequately handled. Probably due to the smallness of the stage and the immenseness of the scenery, there seemed to be too little room for the incidental dances which, though mentioned on the program, were not given.

The chorus was quite up to the round, swinging phrases so well known to every school child as well as adult, and sang them well. The orchestra was admirable under Signor Serafin who, though too modest to appear on the stage with the singers, received his ovation after each act from the audience, directed to him at his place in the orchestra pit.

From the first three ominous rolls of the drums that opened the overture, always the orchestra was a dependable and excellently guided unit. Not once was a singer's voice overridden and the colorful phrases of Verdi's music rolled out gratifyingly with due emphasis and value. The harp in the accompaniment to Martinelli's first off-stage air, was particularly lovely.

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