[Met Performance] CID:103640

Cavalleria Rusticana
Metropolitan Opera House, Sat, December 14, 1929 Matinee

Review 1:

Review of critic Leonard Liebling

The performance of "Pagliacci" at the Metropolitan Opera House yesterday afternoon was particularly notable for the rousingly sung and grippingly portrayed Tonio, as interpreted by Lawrence Tibbett, the American baritone. This reviewer does not recall a more intelligent or artistic presentation of the role. Tibbett began by singing the famous "Prologue"' in finished style, his delivery striving for musical exposition of the text, and not, as frequently is the case, for shattering explosions of tone. His subsequent scenes revealed the same edifying art. The music lay within the best range of Tibbett's fine voice and he made each measure yield its full meaning and eloquence.


His acting was remarkably intense and convincing, in manner, pose, gesture and facial expression. He gave the customary grotesque twists to Tonio's gait and costume, but chief stress was laid on the thwarted passion of the crippled mountebank and its quick flaming elemental revenge. These are familiar aspects of the "Pagliacci" plot, but they bear mention because Tibbett steered away from the stencilled "business" of the Tonio role and revealed it with unusual thoughtfulness and resource. His success with the audience was impressive.


Nannette Guilford was an alluring Nedda in appearance and she sang excellently after she had conquered some early tonal unsteadiness. The youthful and ardent vocalism of Lauri-Volpi gave full effect to his Canio, one of his most fiery enactments.

Of course, you must have guessed that, with "Pagliacci," the afternoon bill had teamed "Cavalleria Rusticana." In that opera, Elena Rakowska did the Santuzza and made her voice and acting highly effective. Ina Bourskaya was the attractive and naughty Lola. Frederick Jagel put impassioned utterance to his credit as Turiddu, and Mario Basiola was a resonant Alfio, the unmoderate husband who killed his wife's lover.


Vincenzo Bcllezza conducted both operas, and conducted them very noisily at moments.

Search by season: 1929-30

Search by title: Cavalleria Rusticana, Pagliacci,

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