[Met Performance] CID:98520
Il Trovatore {161} Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York, Brooklyn: 02/21/1928.


New York, Brooklyn
February 21, 1928

Giuseppe Verdi--Salvatore Cammarano

Manrico.................Giovanni Martinelli
Leonora.................Leonora Corona
Count Di Luna...........Mario Basiola
Azucena.................Karin Branzell
Ferrando................James Wolfe
Ines....................Philine Falco
Ruiz....................Alfio Tedesco
Gypsy...................Arnold Gabor

Conductor...............Vincenzo Bellezza

Review of Harold A. Strickland in the Brooklyn Daily Times


But Martinelli Gives Best Performance in 9th Boro Work

Youth and experience were present on the stage of the Academy of Music last night and when the curtain finally closed upon the ninth Metropolitan Opera performance here it was the former which had been outstripped.

The popular "Trovatore" which seems to gain as its age increases, was the work of the evening and Leonora Corona, young Texas soprano, who joined the company this season, represented youth., Miss Corona made her debut in Manhattan a few weeks a back in the same assignment and last night was her first visit to Brooklyn.

But singing opposite was the reliable Giovanni Martinelli - who was making his fourth visit of the season here. While Mr. Gigli tarries in Manhattan or travels about the country from the Gulf to the North, the overworked rival seems to be willing to carry on and be more than agreeable to his numerous Brooklyn assignments. For he is a favorite here.

As one looks back over the season the idea seems to be gathering force that this is a Martinelli year. What with John of Leyden and the numerous youthful and romantic roles which he has handled from time to time, Martinelli has come very close to usurping the honors among the tenors this year despite the vogue of newcomers.

And last night he was in his best form. Manrico is a role that he has sung on innumerable occasions, yet this reviewer doubts whether any of these have surpassed the performance which he gave last night. And, genuine artist that he is, Martinelli never tried to step into the limelight. He knew that Miss Corona was the attraction and he devoted all his efforts toward assisting her and appearing solely as "in support." But his artistry could not be denied and he was at his best vocally and had the further advantage of a smaller auditorium, thereby eliminating any necessity for forcing. Having heard Miss Corona in her debut your reviewer can truthfully report that she has improved. But there is still room for additional improvement.

Karin Branzell was a new Azucena last night. According to the informative Mr. Guard, this Swedish songbird has sung the role before in this country, but she had not appeared in it previously in Brooklyn. Memories of her Brangäne and Kundry stood out in her interpretation of the gypsy mother. Mme. Branzell has just completed a tour of Germany in the assignment, but although she showed an excellent knowledge of the Italian tongue, she was none too certain last night in her work.

Mr. Basiola was the Count and brought with him a vibrato that resulted in faulty intonation. He was a throaty if somewhat forceful baritone and was about adequate in the role. A new Ferrando was introduced in the personage of James Wolfe, who tried hard, but that is about all that can be said. Others in support were Miss Falco and Messrs. Tedesco and Gabor. Mr. Bellezza, who apparently is Brooklyn's conductor from Mr. Gatti's standpoint, again directed proceedings and finally seems to be adjusting himself to the Academy acoustics. He kept things moving last night and was sympathetic toward the debutant of the evening.

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