[Met Performance] CID:137510
Carmen {399} Boston Opera House, Boston, Massachusetts: 04/12/1944.

(Review)


Boston, Massachusetts
April 12, 1944


CARMEN {399}

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

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

Review of Rudolf Elie, Jr. in the Boston Herald

"Carmen"

Of all the routine productions in the Metropolitan's standard catalogue, "Carmen" is certainly the most routine. And so - barring some admirable singing on the part of the principals - it was last night. It is the admirable singing one goes to hear in the Metropolitan, however, so the rest hardly matters I suppose.

In any case, the honors of the evening fell squarely on the shoulders of Messrs. Jobin and Singher for their conceptions of Don José and Escamillo, respectively, with Licia Albanese as Micaela and Lily Djanel as Carmen close behind.

Mr. Jobin's ardor was purely vocal. It was when he sang he came to life as the soldier entrapped by the fickle wench, and his voice, his singing and his easy, fluent negotiation of the melodic line in his arias, "La fleur que tu m'avais jetee" in particular, gave the opera a needed lift. He was often convincing as an actor, but only when he had something specific to do, such as duel. Martial Singher was a wholly splendid Escamillo. The role hardly gives him a chance to display all the facets of his art, but there is little doubt he will be heard at a later date.

Mme. Djanel was not in her best vocal estate, presumably because of a cold. Her conception of the role is lusty enough, but it didn't seem quite seductive enough to convincingly precipitate the tempestuous triangle which ensues following her taunting of Don José. Micaela is not an especially sensible part, but Mme. Albanese made is suitably piteous and, in her big third act aria, caught the audience's fancy for an ovation.

The rest, highlighted by an occasional good bit - the fortune telling scene, for instance - was generally acceptable if one discounts such details as costumes (Carmen's looked like a rodeo outfit), sets and the milling about of the chorus and ballet. Sir Thomas Beecham and the orchestra read the score brightly and the ensemble singing was adequate. The fact of the matter is "Carmen," as it is currently staged, is pretty hard to take after "Carmen Jones," and if it weren't for the great voices of the principals themselves, it would be impossible.



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