[Met Performance] CID:136310
Carmen {393} Metropolitan Opera House: 12/23/1943.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 23, 1943


CARMEN {393}

Carmen..................Lily Djanel
Don José................Jacques Gérard
Micaela.................Christina Carroll
Escamillo...............Martial Singher
Frasquita...............Thelma Votipka
Mercédès................Lucielle Browning
Remendado...............Alessio De Paolis
Dancaïre................George Cehanovsky
Zuniga..................Lorenzo Alvary
Moralès.................John Baker
Dance...................Monna Montes
Dance...................Nina Youskevitch
Dance...................Marina Svetlova
Dance...................Alexis Dolinoff
Dance...................Leon Varkas
Dance...................Michael Arshansky

Conductor...............Thomas Beecham

Review signed V. B. in the Daily News

"Carmen" Is Performed With Changes in Cast

Last night's cast for "Carmen" at the Metropolitan Opera House included three singers who had not been heard here in the season's first performance of Bizet's opera some three weeks ago. Of these singers two were appearing in their roles at the Metropolitan Opera for the first time: Martial Singher as Escamillo and Christina Carroll, who substituted on short notice for Nadine Conner, originally scheduled to undertake the role of Micaela. Jacques Gerard had sung the role of Don José here last season.

At a time when it seems to important to assert the continuing vitality of the original "Carmen" against the challenge of modern alloys, it is to be regretted that the Metropolitan could not do better than it did last night. Mr. Singher as the new Escamillo exhibited an undeniably pleasing voice, but there was insufficient forcefulness both vocally and in the impersonation. Miss Carroll's poor French pronunciation was a decided hindrance, and her tendency to emphasize each note with a student's deliberation kept the music from apportioning itself off into proper musical phrases. Dramatically Mr. Gerard seemed rather unyielding in a role which often rises to deeply felt emotions; and vocally, despite a certain power, he provided many unsatisfying moments.

Sir Thomas Beecham achieved rather clear results with the orchestra, but it was not until the climax of Act III that he succeeded in making his customary vigor show through the musical response. Lily Djanel as Carmen was no more convincing that on previous occasions. Thelma Votipka, Lucielle Browing, George Cehanovsky, Alessio de Paolis, Lorenzo Alvary, and John Baker were also in the cast.



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