[Met Performance] CID:119420

Metropolitan Opera House, Wed, May 13, 1936

Debut : Emily Hardy, Anna Kaskas, John Gurney, Norman Cordon, Jarna Paull

Rigoletto (214)
Giuseppe Verdi | Francesco Maria Piave
Carlo Morelli

Emily Hardy [Debut]

Duke of Mantua
Joseph Bentonelli

Anna Kaskas [Debut]

John Gurney [Debut]

Norman Cordon [Debut]

Lodovico Oliviero

George Cehanovsky

Count Ceprano
Wilfred Engelman

Countess Ceprano
Charlotte Symons

Jarna Paull [Debut]

Gennaro Papi

Review 1:

Review of Jerome D. Bohm in the Herald Tribune

Morelli Sings 'Rigoletto' in Spring Opera

Metropolitan Has New Gilda in Emily Hardy at 2nd of Popular Price Series

Radio Winner in Debut

Anna Kaskas, Auditions' Choice, Is Maddalena

Verdi's "Rigoletto" was the second presentation in the popular-priced season at the Metropolitan Opera House last night. The title part was assumed by Carlo Morelli, heard in the role last winter. There was a new Gilda in the person of Emily Hardy, a young soprano from San Francisco, and Anna Kaskas, radio auditions winner, made her local Metropolitan debut as Maddalena, Joseph Bentonelli sang his first Metropolitan Duke of Mantua, Norman Cordon was the Monterone and John Gurney the Sparafucile, both singing for the first time in this opera house. The remaining, less weighty parts were in the hand of Messrs. Cehanovsky, Oliviero and Engelman and Mmes. Symons and Paull.

Miss Hardy is a personable, slender Gilda. However, the combination of a robin's egg blue costume adorned with a magenta sash, in which she first disclosed herself, was scarcely flattering. Just how much of the uncertainty in the projection of her voice may be attributed to the trial of a New York debut can only be judged in future appearances. While there were moments when the soprano's tones were transparent in texture, the voice appears not to have sufficient body to meet the arduous demands of the impassioned music for which Gilda is called upon in the third act. Her delivery of the "Caro nome" aria in the second act revealed some natural flexibility and a purity of intonation which was not consistently adhered to in the ensuing act. Some of her top notes, including the final E as she ascended the stairs, were flutelike, but neither of her sustained high B's were securely uttered, and the lower tones were breathy and barely audible. From the dramatic aspect the impersonation wanted in intensity and flexibility of gesture.

Maddalena is too brief a part to permit a final opinion of Miss Kaskas's capacities, which will be more fully tested in Gluck's "Orfeo" next week, but her voice is fresh and freely employed and she possesses an attractive personality. Mr. Bentonelli, a plausible Duke to the eye, sang his music with a closer approach to its inherent style than any of the other principals; there was both debonair elegance and agreeable tone in his voicing of "Quest' o quella" and the same attributes were apparent in "La donna e mobile," although here the tenor gave some indications that he was fatigued. At any rate his assumption of the profligate lover was a more felicitous one than had been listened to by the subscribers to the last winter season.

Mr. Morelli's conception of the hunchbacked jester is a routine one, unevenly sung, at times effectively, at others, especially in such crucial points as his third act aria, "Cortigiani, vil razza," with stylistic exaggerations and tasteless Italianisms. In his acting he seldom penetrated beneath the surface of his part, and made little of its tragic pathos. Mr. Cordon, an impressive figure as Monterone, sang sonorously and with well-focused round tones. The Sparafucile of Mr. Gurney, while competently sung, recalled rather a swashbuckling cowboy than a nefarious assassin. Mr. Papi conducted in a four-square unyielding manner. There was a large demonstrative audience.

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