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Listings

: For Women: About the Home

Practical help for the housewife.
Presented by Joan Gilbert.

Beauty Hint
Joane Edmunds shows how to trim the eyebrows and care for the complexion.

Pastry Making
Philip Harben, in the first of a series of four weekly programmes, shows how to make short paste.

Round the Shops with Margot Lovell

Washing Curtains
Helen McKane shows how to launder different curtain materials, including net and lace, rayons, glazed chintz, and velvets.

(to 16.00)

Contributors

Presented By: Joan Gilbert
Item presenter (Beauty Hint): Joane Edmunds
Cook (Pastry Making): Philip Harben
Reporter (Round the Shops): Margot Lovell
Item presenter (Washing Curtains): Helen McKane
Edited and produced by: S. E. Reynolds

: Children's Television: Max Wall

Contributors

Comedian: Max Wall

: Children's Television: Ballet for Beginners (Junior Edition)

The second of three monthly programmes on the art of ballet devised for younger viewers.
A study of the first act of 'Giselle'
For further details see Wednesday at 9.30

At the pianos: Tom McCall and James Turner
(to 18.20)

Contributors

Pianist: Tom McCall
Pianist: James Turner

: Rigoletto

An opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi.

The scene is laid in Mantua in the fifteenth century
Act 1 Scene 1: A hall in the Ducal Palace
Scene 2: A deserted end of a blind alley
Act 2 A room in the Ducal-Palace
Act 3 A road-house on the bank of the River Mincio
The story is told by Sir Steuart Wilson.

In the spring of 1853, Verdi was hard at work on the ambitious scheme of setting King Lear to music when he wrote to his collaborator Antonio Somma: 'In my opinion monotony is the besetting sin of our Operas. They have interesting isolated themes but they lack variety. They are played, so to say, on one string, of a fine quality if you will, but always the same. That is why I prefer Shakespeare to every other dramatist, the Greeks not excepted. In my opinion the best subject that I have yet set to music as regards effect pure and simple (I am not talking of its poetical or literary merits) is Rigoletto....'

Oddly enough, the coarse Victor Hugo melodrama on which the opera is based, acquires in Verdi's hands an almost Shakespearian greatness. The story of the misshapen court jester obsessed by the curse of a dishonoured father whom he has mocked, and lead inevitably to the dishonour of his own daughter and to be the unwitting cause of her death, becomes in Verdi's score a study of human nature which stands comparison, in terms of music, with the Shakespearian characters who rise to greatness in their misery and evoke our pity in their evil.

For this reason, and not because the score contains such well-known favourites as 'La donna e mobile,' 'Caro nome' and the famous quartet, Rigoletto has been chosen as the first complete Verdi opera to be televised. The popularity and the easy flow of its melodies has inevitably brought them down to music-hall or barrel-organ level or caused them to become virtuoso displays labelled with a star name. Yet Verdi did not intend them as such. In the words of that eminent Verdi critic, Francis Toye: '"Caro nome" is not a show-piece intended to display the virtuosity of this or that prima donna. It represents, truly and movingly, a young girl's thoughts of the lover who has just left her. It should be sung quietly, without effort, with the coloratura falling into its proper place as an expressive subsidiary, not emphasised like a set-piece in a display of fireworks.' The television production of the opera will follow these lines; the stress will be on the drama. So that the leading characters will not be lost 'among the throng and will stand out clearly from the very first pages of the score the guttering stage opening in the court ballroom filled with dancing guests will deliberately be avoided. To get away from the customary and cumbersome stage picture with its late sixteenth-century costumes the opera will be played against a background inspired by Italian Renaissance painters.

Rigoletto is a hundred and one years old. The opera has been played in many languages in every corner of the world before enthusiastic audiences. The list of famous singers who appeared in it include Varesi (who created the name part at La Fenice Theatre in Venice on the first night of the opera, March 11, 1851), Titta Ruffo, Riccardo Stracciari, Carlo Galeffi; Caruso, and Gigh in the part of the Duke; Tetrazzini, Galli-Curci, and Toti Dal Monte in the role of Gilda. But in the words of the composer himself, Rigoletto was not intended as a singer's opera: 'I have conceived Rigoletto without arias, without final tableaux, just as a long succession of duets'. And it was after seeing a performance of this opera that Rossini, the doyen of the operatic composers of the Italian school, declared: 'In this music I at last recognise Verdi's genius'.

Contributors

Composer: Guiseppe Verdi
English version by: Edward J. Dent
The story is told by: Sir Steuart Wilson
Conductor: Charles Mackerras
Settings and costumes: Stephen Bundy
Producer: George R. Foa
Rigoletto: Edmund Donlevy
Gilda, his daughter: Maureen Springer
The Duke of Mantua: Arthur Servent
Sparafucile, a hired murderer: Harold Blackburn
Maddalena, his sister: Anna Pollak
The Count of Monterone: Hervey Alan
Marullo, a courtier: Arthur Downes
The Count of Ceprano: Bernard Steel
The Countess of Ceprano: Glenice Halliday
Matteo Borsa, a courtier: Elster Kay
Giovanna, Gilda's nurse: Ethel Giles
A page: Margaret Lynstead

: Professional Boxing

A visit (by permission of Harry Jacobs Promotions) to one of the regular boxing tournaments at the West Ham Baths, London.
At the ringside, Eamonn Andrews and W. Barrington Dalby

Contributors

Commentator: Eamonn Andrews
Commentator: W. Barrington Dalby

: Newsreel

(Wednesday's edition repeated)








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