Topic: Cesaroni: The Great Italian Operatic Basso (1920)

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On 6 October 1920, the Great Italian Operatic Basso, Cesaroni, performed in Tauranga. The event was recorded in an article by the Bay of Plenty Times on 7 October 1920.

 A Great Singer.

Cesaroni, an eminent Italian operatic basso, sang in the Town Hall last night before a fairly numerous and highly appreciative audience. It is very rarely that artists of the calibre of the Cesaroni Company visit Tauranga, and the appearance of this excellent combination may be followed by visits from similar companies of equal merit. In any case it is sincerely hoped by music lovers that such may eventuate.Cesaroni, the Great Italian Operatic Basso, 1920

Cesaroni is a basso possessed with a remarkable voice of extensive range and a quality rich and full. He is, as may of course be expected from an Italian, very temperamental, and in his various interpretations of the many numbers sung last night this quality was well marked. Cesaroni presented several arias from grand opera and these were judiciously varied by the inclusion of a number of ballads of a lighter order such as "My Life's Ideal" (Tosti) and "O Solo Mio " (De Capua). In the operatic selections Cesaroni's best was "Haste, for Vengeance,'' from Donizetti's opera  "Lucrezia Borgia." This called for much dramatic and declamatory force, to which the singer was quite equal, and the conclusion of this great aria was the signal for vociferous and insistent applause. Another excellent contribution was the Verdi aria "Infelice tu Credevi " from Ernani, and the well known " O, Star of Eve " from " Tannhauser" was a most acceptable item. Much of Cesaroni's success is due to his masterly interpretation, in which there is evidence of great study w|th a due appreciation of the particular number being essayed. Encore items included arias from " Don Giovanni" and "The Magic Flute," two operas by Mozart. Miss Ray Fox, the violinist of the party, is without exception the greatest exponent of the violin yet heard in Tauranga. In executive ability and the easy mastery of technical difficulties such as occur in Sarasate's "Gipsy Airs," Miss Fox's playing was a revelation. Her soulful interpretation of Schubert's "Ave Maria" was evidence of a fine artistic nature without which success can never be fully attained. The playing of Sarasate's arrangement of a number of melodies from Gounod's " Faust " was further testimony to the excellence of Miss Fox's masterly skill and her undoubted artistic attainments. The soprano of this talented Company is Miss Vera Carew, whose lyric quality was well suited to such songs as Newton's "Fairy Voices" and Wilson's "Carmena." Miss Carew also sang Braga's "La Serenata," which was greatly enhanced by a violin obligato supplied by Miss Fox. Probably the hardest worked artist in any Company is the accompanist. It certainly was the case last night when Miss Rosa Walton officiated in the arduous position. Miss Walton is, without exception, the ideal accompanist, always being in time and sympathy with the artists, and at the same time supplying a subdued accompaniment in an artistic manner. Miss Walton is also a gifted interpreter of songs at the piano, and was heard to advantage in " Daddy and Babsy," "The Woman Who Shops," and "Naughtly Little Word," her charming personality being a feature of the success which these items achieved.

The article can be accessed on Papers Past by clicking here.

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Cesaroni: The Great Italian Operatic Basso (1920)

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand License
Cesaroni: The Great Italian Operatic Basso (1920) by Debbie McCauley (Tauranga City Libraries) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand License