[Met Performance] CID:137620
Carmen {400} Civic Opera House, Chicago, Illinois: 04/22/1944.

(Review)


Chicago, Illinois
April 22, 1944


CARMEN {400}

Carmen..................Lily Djanel
Don José................Raoul Jobin
Micaela.................Licia Albanese
Escamillo...............Alexander Sved
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 Felix Borowski in the Chicago Sun

'Carmen' Given Without Spirit

Bizet's "Carmen," which the Metropolitan Opera Co. presented at its evening performance on Saturday, was scarcely one of the most impressive representations which the organization has offered here. It was not even as persuasive as the interpretation which it gave, with practically the same cast, at the Civic Opera House last season.

Sir Thomas Beecham again was the conductor, but he did not succeed in bringing to life the spirit, the vivacity, the pungency of one of the most brilliant scores in all the operatic repertory. The orchestra, probably fatigued after its admirable performance of Verdi's "Un Ballo in Maschera" in the afternoon, appeared to take no more than a perfunctory interest in the evening's labors.

Better Last Year

Lily Djanel's Carmen was accomplished with a considerable amount of physical activity. It was not a characterization of the greatest subtlety, but, on the other hand, it brought forward no eccentricities which might mar an agreeable picture of Merimee's wayward heroine. Miss Djanel's singing, however, was of less excellence than it had been when she was heard as Carmen last year. Her voice is not of exceptional beauty, but she was more expert in the use of what nature had given her on the occasion of her earlier appearance.

The largest amount of applause was given to Licia Albanese, who was the Micaela of the cast. This artist, rather strangely attired for a village maiden, sang her great aria in the third act with much beauty of tone, and with the fervidity of expression which both text and music called for.

Jobin Is Admirable

The principal men were Raoul Jobin, who sang the music of Don José, and Alexander Sved, who was the toreador, Escamillo. The former accomplished his work with Gallic distinction and made an admirable impression with a polished and expressive presentation of the Flower Song.

It is less easy to discover great praise for Mr. Sved's Escamillo. His most telling opportunity came with the Toreador Song in the second act, but the baritone gave little real singing to it, as most of his effort consisted of explosive declamation.

For the rest, Thelma Votipka and Lucielle Browning were adequate respectively as Frasquita and Mercedes, and Lorenzo Alvary was a credible Zuniga.



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