[Met Tour] CID:156750

Il Barbiere di Siviglia
Cleveland Public Auditorium, Cleveland, Ohio, Thu, April 19, 1951

Il Barbiere di Siviglia (240)
Gioachino Rossini | Cesare Sterbini
Giuseppe Valdengo

Lily Pons

Count Almaviva
Eugene Conley

Dr. Bartolo
Salvatore Baccaloni

Don Basilio
Cesare Siepi

Hertha Glaz

George Cehanovsky

Alessio De Paolis

Ludwig Burgstaller

Alberto Erede

Review 1:

Review of Herbert Elwell in the Cleland Plain Dealer
Pons and Baccaloni Weave Spell of Delight in “Barber”
The most lovable operatic nonsense of all time, Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville,” cast its delectable spell over an enormous audience last night in Public Hall, where the Metropolitan Opera expended some of its richest talent in a first-class realization of this fun-provoking masterpiece.
Always welcome and always delightful, this opera buffa has been given many splendid performances here, and always with good casts. That of last evening did not fall short of previous records, what with stars such as Giuseppe Valdengo as Figaro, Lily Pons as Rosina, Salvatore Baccaloni, Cesare Siepi and Eugene Conley all contributing to a smooth and lively ensemble.
Pons gave many listeners what they had been waiting to hear, deft and nimble coloratura singing, a pure flutelike tone, liquid turns, runs, trills and arpeggios executed with taste and security. A captivating stage personality, she was more fetching than ever in her dainty, distinguished impersonation of the pretty little ward of Dr. Bartolo.
Varies Routine
And what a blustering old fool Baccaloni makes of this fusspot! Never does one tire of his classic clowning. His routine, though basically the same as usual, is always varied just enough to give new life to the fatuous character.
His partner in comedy, the incredible Don Basilio, has never been better represented, unless perhaps by Pinza. Cesare Siepi took this part and made a wondrously fantastic thing of it, singing the “Calumnia” with a rising voice of thunder and promoting the horseplay with admirable skill.
But we are not forgetting one of the most agreeable contributions, Valdengo’s Figaro. Here was fluid Italian recitative – dashed off at top speed in a baritone of the most pleasing quality and volume. His “Largo al factotum” came off with stunning effect, and he excelled in many other portions of the work.
Eugene Conley was well cast as the Count Almaviva and did some excellent singing, especially in the early “Ecco ridente.” The lyric qualities demanded of his part were met with fine artistry. Not only did his voice sound fuller than in his earlier appearance of the week, but he seemed better adjusted to the acoustical problems of the hall.
Praise was merited also by other members of the cast, which included Herta Glaz as Berta, George Cehanovsky, Alessio de Paolis and Ludwig Burgstaller.
As for the conducting of Alberto Erede, who was new to the Cleveland audience, it was competent without lending a special luster to the score. A certain kind of rigidity in his rhythm kept the music from having quite the sparkle that we have often enjoyed in it. Yet there was little actually to complain of with regard to the adequacy of the ensemble.

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