[Met Performance] CID:122980

Metropolitan Opera House, Wed, February 16, 1938 Matinee

Rigoletto (223)
Giuseppe Verdi | Francesco Maria Piave
Lawrence Tibbett

Lily Pons

Duke of Mantua
Jan Kiepura

Irra Petina

Nicola Moscona

Norman Cordon

Angelo Badà

George Cehanovsky

Count Ceprano
Wilfred Engelman

Countess Ceprano
Charlotte Symons

Thelma Votipka

Lucielle Browning

Ettore Panizza

Review 1:

Review of Pitts Sanborn in the World Telegram

Jan Kiepura Sings Part of Duke in "Rigoletto" at Metropolitan

In "Rigoletto" yesterday afternoon, Jan Kiepura had, as the Duke, his third Metropolitan part. The earlier scenes of the opera proved favorable to the Polish tenor. At times his tones were relatively free and his style approximated Verdi's. But with "Parmi veder le lagrime" he steeled his voice against that sort of weakness and shouted his resolve.

In "La donna e mobile" and the quartet he remembered the circus and all its works, balancing so long on the top note of the former number that the conductor lost patience and the band played on. He dressed the Duke richly and in good taste, but the head - no beard, if you please - was hardly in the image of a renaissance ruler. Mr. Kiepura is so bent on acting all the time and all over the place that I wish he could be like Mrs. Malaprop's Cerberus - three gentlemen in one.

Tibbett is Rigoletto

For the first time this season Lawrence Tibbett was the Rigoletto and Lily Pons the Gilda. In Act I - as the Metropolitan divides the opera - Mr. Tibbett sedulously applied the slapstick in his acting and his singing. Later there was small chance for that version of a jester, but melodramatic excesses got in their full work. It all seemed a tireless waste in a baritone who again and again had shown himself capable of fine things. Grace and charm were welcome qualities in the appealing Gilda of Mme. Pons, and some of her singing was as good. But, of course, the voice itself lacks the needed volume for the second duet with Rigoletto and the quartet.

An odd apparition for Metropolitan opera was Irra Petina as Maddelena, and her vocalism - when audible - matched it. Nicola Moscona made a pleasant-voiced, harmless Sparafucile. Commendable were the Monterone portrayed by Norman Cordon and the conducting of Ettore Panizza.

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