[Met Tour] CID:150610

Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, California, Tue, April 26, 1949

Rigoletto (293)
Giuseppe Verdi | Francesco Maria Piave
Leonard Warren

Nadine Conner

Duke of Mantua
Jan Peerce

Martha Lipton

Jerome Hines

Clifford Harvuot

Leslie Chabay

George Cehanovsky

Count Ceprano
John Baker

Countess Ceprano
Inge Manski

Thelma Altman

Pietro Cimara

Review 1:

Fred Broomfield in the North Hollywood Valley Times

Leonard Warren Excels In Met’s “Rigoletto”


The Metropolitan Opera Association opened its Los Angeles season at the Shrine Auditorium last night with the most enthusiastic and festive audience we have beheld attending such an auspicious occasion. In the social sense of the word it was brilliant, what transpired on the stage wasn’t always so lustrous.

“Rigoletto’ by Giuseppe Verdi and based on Victor Hugo’s drama “La Roi s’Amuse,” presenting the age-old triangle with its tragic consequences, was chosen for the occasion.

With its beginning in the court of the Duke of Mantua and its debauchery, “Rigoletto” occasionally rose to great heights last night, thanks to the splendid work of Nadine Canner as the love-forsaken girl, Gilda, Rigoletto’s daughter; Leonard Warren in the title role, and Jerome Hines as the cut-throat Sparafucile. One was vividly impressed by the excellent voice control quality and diction that flowed from the throats of these talented three.


Dramatic Conviction


The young baritone, Warren, exhibited a keen sense of musical values and dramatic conviction, and these are the  qualities that have had a lot to do with his phenomenal improvement since he appeared here last year. He sings and acts with a lot more expressiveness than he did when he appeared here in Verdi’s operas with the Met and the San Francisco company.

The dramatic presentation of the bitter soliloquy, “Pari siamo,” on a deserted street near his home was just as good as any we have heard.

Jerome Hines, the big and convincing basso, provided a delightful surprise with his interpretation of the hired assassin. He held his expressive voice with its great audibility under good control, even when he went way down yonder for the deep notes. He and Warren must be considered two of the Met’s most promising opera stars.


Interpretive Skill


Miss Conner, as usual, was attractively qualified in voice and personal appearance to portray the beautiful but ill-fated Gilda who walked unknowingly to her rendezvous with death at the hands of Sparafucile. At all times she exhibited sincerity and pronounced interpretive skill. She was especially effective in the third act in which she displayed exquisite tone quality and deftness of florid passage work.

Jan Peerce played the role of the philandering Duke with not too much conviction or expressiveness of voice until the third and last acts. Perhaps there was a reason why his voice failed to carry with any degree of power and with little more than mediocre quality.

In declaring his love for Gilda he was impressive and he contributed in great style in the celebrated quartet, “Un di, se ben rammento mi.” He was good in the closing aria, “La donna e mobile,” in which he explained that woman’s affections are as fickle as the breeze.

Those in supporting roles were quite adequate, as were the dancers. The men’s chorus again performed one of those extra special jobs which are taken for granted under the distinctive direction of Herbert Adler. Piertro Cimara conducted the orchestra and brought forth the full measure of Verdi’s beautiful melodies.

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