[Met Performance] CID:189950

Metropolitan Opera House, Wed, January 24, 1962

Rigoletto (413)
Giuseppe Verdi | Francesco Maria Piave
Anselmo Colzani

Mattiwilda Dobbs

Duke of Mantua
Barry Morell

Rosalind Elias

Ezio Flagello

Bonaldo Giaiotti

Gabor Carelli

Clifford Harvuot

Count Ceprano
Calvin Marsh

Countess Ceprano
Joan Wall

Thelma Votipka

Lynn Blair

Paul De Paola

Fausto Cleva

Review 1:

Review of Martin Bernheimer in the New York Herald Tribune

Mattiwilda Dobbs at Met

There were two newcomers in "Rigoletto" at the Metropolitan last night, where Anselmo Colzani appeared in the title role and Mattiwilda Dobbs sang Gilda, both for the first time this season. Otherwise, the cast was the same as at the first performance, with Barry Morell as the Duke, Ezio Flagello as Sparafucile and Rosalind Elias as Maddalena. Fausto Cleva conducted a spirited, if pitilessly cut performance, which once again brought up the perennial "Rigoletto" question: when will the Met respect Verdi's wishes and present this relatively short opera in its entirety?

Up to the big aria in the third act, Mr. Colzani was a highly effective Rigoletto. He may have lacked the vocal sheen to make the mezza-voce passages really telling, but the baritone did bring power and conviction to the part nevertheless. In "Cortigiani," however, his acting turned from primitive to hysterical, and sobs began to disfigure the vocal line. It is regrettable that this fine artist must resort to musical and dramatic distortions in the process of building a tragic characterization; shouting, staggering, and eye-popping, after all, are not very poignant.

Miss Dobbs, on the other hand, sang with a maximum of style and taste. The voice was not always perfectly focused last night, but at its best, it had uncommon purity and freshness. And Miss Dobbs deserves special praise for singing the end of "Caro nome" as written - with a beautifully sustained trill. In so doing she refused to follow the bad example of countless other Gildas who substitute a High E squeak that Verdi probably never dreamed of.

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