Music: Grinning Tragedy

Mario Chamlee tells a diverting story about his first performance as the Duke in Rigoletto at the Metropolitan Opera House, Manhattan. The baritone role was sung by De Luca. Now, De Luca is a very merry person, as are many who excel in tragic parts. His round, snub-nosed face was made for mirth, especially its wide, thin-lipped mouth, which even in repose is curved like a jocose crescent. When De Luca sings, he grimaces in such a way that his mouth carries the leer of a laughing satyr.

"I didn't know him well,"...

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