[Met Performance] CID:132880

Un Ballo in Maschera
Metropolitan Opera House, Thu, February 5, 1942

Un Ballo in Maschera received two performances this season.

Review 1:

Review in Variety of February 11, 1942

"Ballo in Maschera" Thursday (5) was uneven vocally, in that certain artists' efforts stood out sharply over those of their colleagues. It was the opera's first Met presentation this season. The opera was to have been dropped from the repertoire, but was carried when Giovanni Martinelli experienced phenomenal success in it in Chicago last November, leading to his being assigned the lead part.

The tenor assumed the title role for the first time in 26 years in N. Y., delivering a splendid performance. He was in the best voice in several years. He also dominated with his acting. John Charles Thomas ran the tenor a close second in his first Met appearance of the year, stopping the show twice with 'Alla Vita' and 'Eri Tu.' The American baritone's voice is still luscious, and his phrasing is impeccable. His acting could have been more vibrant, but he was always in character.

Stella Roman gave a generally uneven performance, Josephine Antoine delivered with zest and sparkle. The `Volta la terra' and `Saper Vorreste` while not great music, are outstanding arias in bravura style for a lyric-coloratura, and Miss Antoine had style, flexibility and bigness of voice to make the most of them. Anna Kaskas, substituting for an ill Bruna Castagna was inadequate, as she lacked both the top and bottom required for 'Re dell'abiso.' In ensemble work she was drowned out.

Norman Cordon and Nicola Moscona made much of the mocking laughter scene in the third act, and Ettore Panizza struggled with an orchestra which had plenty of life, but varied from true pitch.

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