[Met Performance] CID:137530
Aida {469} Boston Opera House, Boston, Massachusetts: 04/14/1944.

(Debut: Natasha Tzvetcova
Review)


Boston, Massachusetts
April 14, 1944


AIDA {469}
Giuseppe Verdi--Antonio Ghislanzoni

Aida....................Zinka Milanov
Radamès.................Kurt Baum
Amneris.................Kerstin Thorborg
Amonasro................Alexander Sved
Ramfis..................Nicola Moscona
King....................John Gurney
Messenger...............John Dudley
Priestess...............Maxine Stellman
Dance...................Robert Armstrong
Dance...................Michael Arshansky
Dance...................Alexis Dolinoff
Dance...................Marina Svetlova
Dance...................Natasha Tzvetcova [Debut]
Dance...................Leon Varkas
Dance...................Nina Youskevitch

Conductor...............Wilfred Pelletier

Review of Elinor Hughes in the Boston Herald

"Aida"

If that convenient man from Mars, upon whom we contemplate so cheerfully as a test case for all manner of things that baffle or amuse us, were suddenly to appear and demand to see an opera which best typified that form of entertainment, "Aida" would certainly be trotted out for his inspection. Here is the grand old war horse of grand opera -- as opposed to music drama - here are the big scenes, the processions, arias, love duets, massive sets, crowds of people and a plot that for once, makes a certain amount of sense even though its performers do not. And if our celestial visitor had been at the Opera House last night he would have seen a very representative performance.

He would have observed how a first rate baritone, Alexander Sved (Amonasro) and a strikingly handsome and capable contralto, Kerstin Thorborg (Amneris), did not only the best singing but also the best acting of the evening,. He would have seen a soprano, Zinka Milanov (Aida), who varied from admirable in her third act love duet and second act finale, to mannered and harsh in her fortissimo passages, and a tenor, Kurt Baum (Radames), who sang correctly, often with strong and pleasing tone, yet whose personality was negative and whose playing was strictly on the conventional operatic order - every gesture and movement foretold before it came.

Add to the virtues of the performances a particularly well handled temple scene (with a good solo by the unseen priestess, Maxine Stellman), a well staged and lighted scene on the banks of the Nile and some fine lusting vocalizing by a chorus that didn't look much interested in the proceedings but who could and did sing. The stage direction was only fair, and the orchestra was conducted with verve and intelligence by Wilfred Pelletier. On the whole, if our hypothetical man from Mars is interested, he would have had a pretty enjoyable time last night and would have seen just about everything grand opera has to offer: grandioso, beautiful, absurd and entertaining.



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