[Met Performance] CID:136440

Gianni Schicchi
Metropolitan Opera House, Thu, January 6, 1944

Debut : Anthony Statile, Ella Flesch

Gianni Schicchi (36)
Giacomo Puccini | Giovacchino Forzano
Gianni Schicchi
Salvatore Baccaloni

Licia Albanese

Nino Martini

Frances Greer

Thelma Votipka

Anna Kaskas

Alessio De Paolis

George Cehanovsky

Gerhard Pechner

Virgilio Lazzari

Anthony Statile [Debut]

Louis D'Angelo

Lorenzo Alvary

John Gurney

John Baker

Cesare Sodero

Désiré Defrère

Set Designer
Joseph Novak

Salome (21)
Richard Strauss | Oscar Wilde
Ella Flesch [Debut]

Frederick Jagel

Karin Branzell

Herbert Janssen

John Garris

Hertha Glaz

Karl Laufkötter

Lodovico Oliviero

Alessio De Paolis

John Dudley

Gerhard Pechner

Emery Darcy

Mack Harrell

John Gurney

Osie Hawkins

Mona Paulee

George Szell

Set Designer
Donald Oenslager

Gianni Schicchi received four performances this season.
R. Strauss-O. Wilde/Lachmann
Salome received four performances this season.

Review 1:

Review of Jerome D. Bohm in the New York Herald Tribune

'Salome' Given Under Szell at Metropolitan

Baccaloni Sings in Leading Role of Gianni Schicchi in Double Bill of Opera

It was good to hear Puccini's effervescent, farcical opera again after a lapse of five years, although one regrets that it was not again performed in English as it was in 1938. The reason it was given in Italian was, of course, clear. Mr. Baccaloni appeared in the title role for the first time here and, to judge by the few words of English he uttered at the close of the opera, it was just as well that he had not attempted to deliver the entire role in anything but his native tongue. His characterization of the deceitful, self-appointed heir of Buoso Donati, was a telling one, fortunately not vitiated by the over-acting which Mr. Baccaloni sometimes resorts to.

The presentation as a whole was effective. "Gianni Schicchi" is an opera which depends more on the excellence of the ensemble than on brilliant single achievements and all those concerned gave admirable accounts of their roles. The greatest demands from the vocal aspect are made on the soprano who sings the part of Lauretta and Miss Albanese, though infelicitously made up, sang her aria and the closing duet with Mr. Martini most agreeably. Mr. Martini whose role is next in importance from the purely vocal fact sang pleasantly, too, and had the good sense not to force his voice as he did last season. Mr. Sodero conducted with gusto and kept a firm hand over the stage procedure as well as over the players in the pit.

The performance of "Salome" which ensued was far less satisfactory. It would be pleasant to report that Miss Flesch, who had not been heard here since she made her debut in recital in Town Hall, three years ago, disclosed the vocal and histrionic stature demanded to lend verisimilitude to a portrayal of this creature of Wilde's and Strauss's fashioning. But it must be regretfully stated that Miss Flesch's voice is far too light in caliber to cope with the highly dramatic music Strauss has penned for this role, and that her acting abilities are too circumscribed to permit her to overstep the boundaries of conventional operatic histrionism. I will not dwell on Miss Fiesch's unwittingly mirth-provoking Dance of the Seven Veils, Only Miss Djanel, whom Miss Flesch replaced because of the latter's indisposition, has of all the Salomes I have seen here and abroad, danced this role with anything like the professionalism required, and one should not be too unkind to any singer who cannot achieve similarly high standards. But one can expect a Salome who can be heard above the orchestra.

Review 2:

Review of Oscar Thompson in the New York Sun

Puccini's "Gianni Schicchi" was entertainingly revived at the Metropolitan Opera House in double bill with Strauss's "Salome". The comic [opera] was last heard here on 1/31/38. It was then sung in English. The revival reverted to the original [Italian] and boasted Salvatore Baccaloni as Schicchi. Cesare Sodero succeeded to the musical direction. [The opera] was accorded almost a new deal in the casting. Only George Cehanovsky in the small part as Betto was a hold-over from the "Schicchi" of 1938. The most important of Mr. Baccaloni's companions were Licia Albanesee as Lauretta and Nino Martini as Rinucci[o]. The soprano and tenor sang musically-she especially in the sugary "O mio babbino caro"-though their light voices were often engulfed by Mr. Sodero's orchestra. The perceeptibly more robust Mr. Baccoloni made himself heard in terms of large-scale sonorities. His impersonation of a wily will-falsifier, if not a particularly sly or crafty one, was gayly amusing throughout. /b>

Search by season: 1943-44

Search by title: Gianni Schicchi, Salome,

Met careers