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Larger context for LACK in Corpus USbrown_UKbncw/US_brown.txt

  "La Gioconda", like it or not, is a singer's opera.   And so, of course, it is a fan's opera as well.   Snow or no, the fans were present in force at the Metropolitan Opera last night for a performance of the Ponchielli work.   So the plot creaks, the sets are decaying, the costumes are pre-historic, the orchestra was sloppy and not very well connected with what the singers were doing.   After all, the opera has juicy music to sing and the goodies are well distributed, with no less than six leading parts.   One of those parts is that of evil, evil Barnaba, the spy.   His wicked deeds were carried on by Anselmo Colzani, who was taking the part for the first time with the company.   He has the temperament and the stage presence for a rousing villain and he sang with character and strong tone.   lack >   What was lack ing was a real sense of phrase, the kind of legato singing that would have added a dimension of smoothness to what is, after all, a very oily character.     Regina Resnik as Laura and Cesare Siepi as Alvise also were new to the cast, but only with respect to this season they have both sung these parts here before.   Laura is a good role for Miss Resnik, and she gave it force, dramatic color and passion.   Mr Siepi was, as always, a consummate actor with a few telling strokes he characterized Alvise magnificently.   Part of this characterization was, of course, accomplished with the vocal chords.