[Met Performance] CID:243070

La Gioconda
Metropolitan Opera House, Sat, October 18, 1975

Debut : Giuseppe Patanè, Allegra Kent, Louis Johnson

La Gioconda (231)
Amilcare Ponchielli | Arrigo Boito
La Gioconda
Martina Arroyo

Giorgio Lamberti

Mignon Dunn

Matteo Manuguerra

Malcolm Smith

La Cieca
Fedora Barbieri

Gene Boucher

Nico Castel

Edmond Karlsrud

Nicola Barbusci

Paul De Paola

William Mellow

Allegra Kent [Debut]

Antoinette Peloso

Alastair Munro

Giuseppe Patanè [Debut]

John Dexter

Beni Montresor

Louis Johnson [Debut]

La Gioconda received sixteen performances this season.

Review 1:

Review of Allen Hughes in The New York Times

Ponchielli's "La Gioconda" will achieve the age of 100 during the current Metropolitan season (on April 8, to be precise), and to celebrate the anniversary the company has revived the work after a seven-year absence from its repertory.

This is no routine revival. John Dexter has restaged the work in Beni Montresor's lavish sets, the cast (except for Mignon Dunn as Laura) is a new one for the company, there is new choreography by Louis Johnson for the "Dance of the Hours" with Allegra Kent as the leading dancer in it, and a conductor new to the Metropolitan, Giuseppe Patané, is on the podium. It all added up to a handsome and on the whole successful production in its first presentation, Saturday night.

Martina Arroyo was in the title role, which proved to suit her well. It would be easy to imagine a more incandescent interpretation than hers, but the blessing of her voice and the sincerity of her approach to character portrayal make her a commendable if not thrilling Gioconda.

The part of Enzo was taken by Giorgio Casellato-Lamberti, who generated considerable excitement with his singing and looked and acted like a spirited young Venetian nobleman. Miss Dunn, too, was an energizing force as Laura. The brilliance of her mezzo-soprano went well with the voices of both Miss Arroyo and Mr. Casellato-Lamberti.

The casting of Fedora Barbieri as La Cieca could be regarded as either a result of genuine inspiration or a well-intentioned mistake. Miss Barbieri, an operatic veteran and powerful actress, makes the part of the old blind woman a vivid reality that her worn though still strong voice does much to reinforce. But if one thinks of "La Gioconda" as an opera in which beautiful vocal sound counts for more than anything else, the Barbieri sound is going to seem wrong.

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