[Met Performance] CID:260000

La Gioconda
Metropolitan Opera House, Fri, December 28, 1979

Debut : Maria Luisa Nave

Review 1:

Review of Robert Jacobson in the March 8, 1980 issue of Opera News

On December 28 it was Renata Scotto's turn as the Venetian street singer, her first in the house. She is the kind of persuasive artist who can convince you that black is actually white, at least when one experiences her in the theater. Certainly hers is no voice for the role, which taxes her beyond the extremities. But her stunning emotional commitment, thoughtful acting, discovery of dramatic light and shade in creating a character, show her a magnificent artist. She knows how to make every phrase count, just as she knows what kind of short cuts and dynamic trickery will get her through the demands of such a punishing part, such as her introspective "Suicidio!" Hers was an exquisitely moving, tragic portrayal, expert in its infinite pathos, climaxed with a riveting scene of revulsion with Barnaba in Act IV. One came away saying, "Thank you, Miss Scotto, for revealing so much about the role, but please don't do it again - the vocal tolls are just too great."

A nearly completely new cast found another Italian mezzo making her debut as Laura - Maria Luisa Nave, who made little impression with an edgy, metallic, monochromatic voice and cool temperament. Ermanno Mauro was singing his first ever Enzo, displaying new-found stage authority and a ringing tenor through the first three acts but tiring in the final one. His large, bronzed instrument sailed through "Cielo e mar!" with thrilling quality, and he was able to scale it down sensitively as well. Louis Quilico's burly baritone and blunt acting were fine for Barnaba, his voice rolling out richly; and Bonaldo Giaiotti made an imposing Alvise. Patané his interest obviously rekindled, turned in a pulsating elegant reading.

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