Music: Met's New Coloratura

The Metropolitan Opera has a dazzling new coloratura soprano. She is Atlanta-born Mattiwilda Dobbs, 31, pert, appealing to the eye, solacing to the most opera-worn ear. She made her debut as Gilda in Rigoletto last week, and the event was doubly important, for she is the first Negro to sing a romantic lead at the Met.*

Rigoletto, despite some of the most grippingly grisly melodrama in grand opera, is distinctly dated. Whenever Gilda has a spare moment, the orchestra lapses into a kind of soft-shoe accompaniment, leaving wide-open spaces for her graceful vocal glides and glitters. Soprano Dobbs sounded smooth as cashmere...

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