[Met Tour] CID:133390

La Traviata
Metropolitan Theatre, Boston, Massachusetts, Sat, March 21, 1942 Matinee

La Traviata (245)
Giuseppe Verdi | Francesco Maria Piave
Jarmila Novotna

Jan Peerce

Leonard Warren

Thelma Votipka

Alessio De Paolis

Baron Douphol
Wilfred Engelman

Marquis D'Obigny
George Cehanovsky

Dr. Grenvil
Louis D'Angelo

Helen Olheim

Michael Arshansky

Ruthanna Boris

Leon Varkas

Ettore Panizza

Review 1:

Review of Warren Storey Smith in the Boston Sunday Post


Soprano Wins Laurels at Metropolitan in Grand Opera

Yesterday the Metropolitan Theatre was given over to Italian opera, serious in the afternoon (Verdi's "La Traviata") and comic in the evening (Rossini's "The Barber of Seville"). Both performances were well attended and enthusiasm reigned.


When "La Traviata" was presented here by the Metropolitan Company, at the Opera House, two years ago, there was some complaining that Boston was not granted Jarmila Novotna in the title role. The omission was rectified yesterday and there was reason to be grateful for the Czech soprano's presence, since only she was outstanding in an otherwise routine, if generally competent performance.

The debacle which occurred at the Venice premiere of Verdi's opera, on March 6, 1853, because the audience could not swallow the idea of a 270 lb. soprano dying of consumption, would have been averted had Miss Novotna been on hand at the time, for she is slender enough to make Violetta's unhappy demise thoroughly plausible. Miss Novotna is also rarely good looking in the part and she contrives to sing the music effectively and act the role expressively at the same time, a not too easy feat. Vocally, the role is one of the more taxing ones, and even today we are sufficiently critical of vocal accomplishment to expect finished singing in these older Italian operas. Yet we want our drama, too, and we do not always get the both in the happy balance offered by Miss Novotna yesterday.

Jan Peerce in Local Debut

An actual local debut was that of Jan Peerce, the American tenor, whose reputation was chiefly made via the radio and who joined the Metropolitan Company this season. To the part of Alfredo yesterday he brought vocal gifts which might have seemed more conspicuous had they been backed up by even a modicum of histrionic ability. Mr. Peerce is an admirable singer, but at present he is a long way from being a matinee idol.

We had a new Giorgio Germont yesterday in the person of Leonard Warren, an American singer who has proved himself a serviceable baritone in varying roles. He sang and acted sympathetically yesterday and the audience singled him out for special applause at the end of the second act. We have heard more moving performances of "Di Provenza" than his but none that exhibited any greater earnestness.

The various smaller parts were well taken, the chorus sang well, as always, and the brief bit of ballet in Act III sufficed. Ettore Panizza conducted with a fine feeling for the more eloquent aspects of the score and a tactful handling of its old-fashioned elements.

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