[Met Performance] CID:120160

Cavalleria Rusticana
Metropolitan Opera House, Sat, January 2, 1937

Cavalleria Rusticana received nine performances this season.
Pagliacci received ten performances this season.

Review 1:

Review of Francis D. Perkins in the New York Herald Tribune

Pair of Tenors New to Winter Operas Heard

Rayner as Turiddu in 'Cavalleria Rusticana'; Carron as Canio in 'Pagliacci'

Mascagni's "Cavalleria Rusticana" and Leoncavallo's "Pagliacci," in their time-honored association in a double bill, had their first performances of the season at the Metropolitan Opera House last night, and introduced two tenors who had already sung successfully in this house in last spring's popular season to the patrons of the company's regular winter performances. Sydney Rayner, a native of New Orleans, who has also been heard here with other companies, made his second Metropolitan debut as Turiddu in "Cavalleria Rusticana," while the new Canio in "Pagliacci" was Arthur Carron who had sung the same role last spring after winning in the company's radio auditions. Both tenors impressed as being valuable acquisitions to the company's roster, and scored fervent applause.

Bruna Castagna, to whom the evening's Santuzza in "Cavalleria" had been assigned, had been forced to join the company's indisposed Elisabeth Rethberg sang in her stead, with Irra Petina as Lola; Carlo Morelli, singing his third important role in as many evenings was Alfio, and Anna Kaskas, co-winner in the 1935-36 radio auditions, as Lucia. In "Pagliacci" Hilda Burke made her first appearance of the season as Nedda, with Lawrence Tibbett as Tonio, George Cehanovsky as Silvio and Giordano Paltrinieri as Beppe, Gennaro Papi conducted both operas.

Of the work of both tenors, more can be said when they reappear on separate occasions. Mr. Rayner had already sung Turiddu on this stage in June in the closing program of the spring season, and played the role last night as one thoroughly familiar with the music and its dramatic requirements. His voice is of good size and generally well produced, far-carrying quality, while his impersonation from a histrionic point of view was spirited and convincing. In the off-stage aria at the start, his top notes at first seemed slightly opaque, but afterward, while there were one or two moments when one could wonder whether he was not slightly over-stressing them, they proved clear and proclamative.

Mr. Carron, a Londoner whose natal surname is Cox, and who had had operatic experience in the popular-priced London series at Sadler's Wells before coming to America, also repeated the favorable impression he had made as Canio last May. His voice has exceptional vigor and volume, and, while there were moments in the first scene when the tones waxed slightly hard or unfocused, he did laudable work in "Vesti la giubba," and the firmness and clarity as well as the power of the high notes in the phrase "Ridi, Pagliacci" suggested that he should have a notable future. The young English tenor also exhibited a sense of the stage, and in his major aria gave an impression of no lack of emotional effectiveness.

The other roles were also well handled. Mme. Rethberg, singing Santuzza on short notice for the first time in nine years to oblige the management, did remarkably good work in voice and action, in a memorable and communicatively dramatic impersonation; the hard-working Mr. Morelli gave a very commendable performance and the singing of Mmes. Petina and Kaskas merited considerable praise. Miss Burke was in good voice, with more power than last season; Mr. Tibbett was a very effective , red-headed Tonio, and Mr. Cehanovsky displayed a likeable quality of tone in Silvio's lines. There was a capacity audience.

Search by season: 1936-37

Search by title: Cavalleria Rusticana, Pagliacci,

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