[Met Performance] CID:132850
Aida {449} Metropolitan Opera House: 02/2/1942.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
February 2, 1942


AIDA {449}
Giuseppe Verdi--Antonio Ghislanzoni

Aida....................Norina Greco
Radamès.................Arthur Carron
Amneris.................Karin Branzell
Amonasro................Richard Bonelli
Ramfis..................Nicola Moscona
King....................Lansing Hatfield
Messenger...............John Dudley
Priestess...............Thelma Votipka
Dance...................Ruthanna Boris
Dance...................Monna Montes
Dance...................Alexis Kosloff
Dance...................Michael Arshansky
Dance...................Alexis Dolinoff
Dance...................Leon Varkas

Conductor...............Paul Breisach

Review of Robert Lawrence in the Herald Tribune

Fourth "Aida" of Season Is Heard at Metropolitan

Karin Branzell Substitutes for Bruna Castagna as Amneris

A strongly uneven performance of Verdi's "Aida," presented for the fourth time this season, was given last night at the Metropolitan Opera House. On the credit side was the Amneris of Karin Branzell substituting for the indisposed Bruna Castagna. Although Mme. Branzell took most of the opera in which to warm to her full powers, the final judgment scene was delivered with such monumental mastery of tone (except for one or two topmost notes), such grandeur of dramatic line that one felt the presence of real operatic greatness.

Richard Bonelli was a capable Amonasro and Norina Greco, making her first appearance of the season, accomplished much in the part of Aida that was good. Her acting was believable, and a certain elemental vocal strength carried her through the big finales. She seemed unequal, however, to the finely spun passages of the Nile Scene and of the difficult closing duet, "O terra addio." In both these episodes, the soft upper tones were forced and off pitch.

Nicola Moscona continues to improve in artistry, and his Ramfis last night was well sung and acted. Lansing Hatfield offered a dignified King of Egypt. The Radames of the performance, Arthur Carron, sang vigorously and often with powerful effect. He has a voice which, if developed to its utmost capacity and intellectual application, might make him a big artist. John Dudley was heard as a Messenger, and Thelma Votipka as the off-stage priestess.

The Metropolitan's staging and scenic investiture of "Aida" was as customary. A thorough remounting would be welcome. But an unusually disturbing feature of last night's bill, surmounting all other reservations, was the conducting of Paul Breisach. Alternately hurrying the singers at lyrical moments and dragging the orchestra at instrumental climaxes, he showed an appalling misconception of Verdi's wonderful score. Shades of Josef Rosenstock.



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