[Met Performance] CID:98620
La Traviata {151} Metropolitan Opera House: 02/27/1928.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
February 27, 1928


LA TRAVIATA {151}
Giuseppe Verdi--Francesco Maria Piave

Violetta................Lucrezia Bori
Alfredo.................Beniamino Gigli
Germont.................Giuseppe De Luca
Flora...................Philine Falco
Gastone.................Giordano Paltrinieri
Baron Douphol...........Vincenzo Reschiglian
Marquis D'Obigny........Millo Picco
Dr. Grenvil.............Paolo Ananian
Annina..................Henriette Wakefield
Dance...................Rosina Galli
Dance...................Rita De Leporte
Dance...................Giuseppe Bonfiglio

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

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

'La Traviata' Attracts Throng

Gigli and Lucrezia Bori Win Plaudits in Verdi's Opera at the Metropolitan

Verdi's "Traviata" was sung at the Metropolitan Opera House last evening. The second fact to be recorded is that the audience was the largest of the season. Long before the doors opened there was a line extending from the box office around into Thirty-ninth Street and through to Seventh Avenue. The grand army of operatic foot soldiers was out in force and the standing room was so crowded that men held each other up by sheer packing. There were several reasons for the popular demonstration, or rather several reasons combined to cause it.

Beniamino Gigli is one of the very few returning stars of the Metropolitan firmament. He has been absent from the performances for some time on a concert tour, and last evening made his reappearance. Secondly, the opera public likes Lucrezia Bori and has a particular fondness for her Violetta. Thirdly "La Traviata" had its last presentation of the season, and the work is still dear to the general operagoer.

Miss Bori has sung Violetta often and has endured the inevitable comment that she is not entirely at home in the florid music of the first act. Few singers are. Violetta is a disconcerting role. Only a soprano possessed of old school technical agility can triumph in the cabaletta which follows the aria "Ah, for e lui." Miss Bori is sensible of her own limitations evidently and does not attempt any astonishing cadenza. This is indeed wise, for once Violetta is through with her first act she has no further need of vocal agility, but requires the best possible legato and the power to express feeling.

Miss Bori makes a good effect with her first scene, but she makes better case with the more melancholy episodes of the lachrymose drama. Verdi's music does not always receive its due, for it glorifies some rather flimsy text and ennobles utterances which, in the original play, were stilted and hollow and which were not improved by being turned into libretto language. It is with this music that the admired soprano of the Metropolitan reaches the hearts of her hearers.

Mr. Gigli is an ideal Alfredo. He is as manly as the part will permit him to be and the music is of the kind in which he is heard with greatest pleasure. Few discriminating operagoers wish to hear Mr. Gigli in works calling for strenuous delivery because his singing is most beautiful when it restrained and suave. As Alfredo he has only to show his most polished art, and that he did last evening to the manifested joy of the huge assembly. It only remains to say that Mr. De Luca was the Germont, and presented to the audience a dignified parent who became remarkably eloquent when he told of the fair land of Provence. Mr. Serafin conducted. He is an artist who finds the task of every evening worthy of his best effort. He directs "La Traviata" with as much devotion as if it were the embodiment of the latest gospel of the lyric drama. A combination of four great artists with painstaking aid from secondary singers and chorus made the evening profitable to the multitude.



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