[Met Performance] CID:120490
Samson et Dalila {64} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/28/1937.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 28, 1937


SAMSON ET DALILA {64}

Samson..................Giovanni Martinelli
Dalila..................Gertrud Wettergren
High Priest.............Ezio Pinza
Abimélech...............John Gurney
Old Hebrew..............Chase Baromeo
Philistine..............Max Altglass
Philistine..............Wilfred Engelman
Messenger...............Angelo Badà
Dance...................Daphne Vane

Conductor...............Maurice Abravanel

Review signed R. C. B. in the New York World-Telegram

MARTINELLI SINGS SAMSON

Gertrud Wettergren Has Role of Dalila in Saint-Saens at the Metropolitan

An audience of good size at the Metropolitan last evening gave attentive eye and ear to the operatic unfolding of the Biblical story of Samson, and of his becoming "eyeless in Gaza." And the thrice-familiar score of Saint-Saens made its melodious rounds to the evident satisfaction of the assemblage.

The "Samson et Dalila" offered Giovanni Martinelli in his initial appearance this season in the role of the quasi-invincible hero. As for the rest of the cast, they had all been heard in previous representations of the work.

The Italian tenor applied himself whole-heartedly to the task set before him and he acquitted himself with his usual competence. Moulded along heroic lines, as was fitting, Mr. Martinelli's characterization was impressive histrionically, as well as admirably-paced and dramatically effective vocally.

Furthermore, there were no terrors for him in the tessitura, whether high or low, and one could not help but admire the singer's ability to time himself - to give voice when the time for giving came, and to ease along breezily otherwise.

Gertrud Wettergren, whose French improves with every performance, sang the part of Dalila in an intelligently planned interpretation. Ezio Pinza, who impersonated the High Priest, was made up as a patriarch, yet he managed to cavort around in the most approved d'Artagnan style.

From the vocal aspect, however, it was another matter. He had the necessary equipment to negotiate successfully the lines prescribed.

John Gurney supplied an acceptable Abimelech, Chase Baromeo furnished the Old Hebrew. Maurice de Abravanel conducted with obvious sympathy.



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