[Met Performance] CID:138110
Carmen {402} Metropolitan Opera House: 12/7/1944.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 7, 1944


CARMEN {402}
Bizet-Meilhac/L. Halévy

Carmen..................Lily Djanel
Don José................Raoul Jobin
Micaela.................Nadine Conner
Escamillo...............Alexander Sved
Frasquita...............Thelma Votipka
Mercédès................Lucielle Browning
Remendado...............Alessio De Paolis
Dancaïre................George Cehanovsky
Zuniga..................Louis D'Angelo
Moralès.................John Baker
Dance...................Monna Montes
Dance...................Marina Svetlova
Dance...................Leon Varkas
Dance...................Alexis Dolinoff
Dance...................Michael Arshansky

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

Director................Désiré Defrère
Set designer............Joseph Urban
Costume designer........Mary Percy Schenck
Choreographer...........Laurent Novikoff

Carmen received seven performances this season.

Review signed S in the December 25, 1944 issue of Musical America

The season's first performance of "Carmen" on the evening of Dec. 7, under the baton of Wilfred Pelletier, found a cordial if not exactly hysterical reception from a large audience. By far the best singing of the evening was that of Nadine Conner as Micaela; her pure, unforced tones were a delight to hear, after the hard-driven throaty vocalism which proceeded from the other members of the cast. When Miss Conner has worked out the dramatic aspects of the role, so that she is more believable, she will give a really distinguished performance. As it is, she is the best Micaela we have heard in many a season.

Lily Djanel's Carmen is a thoroughly routine and energetic characterization. Without her drive, the performance would have sagged badly. Nevertheless, her Carmen lacks tragic force; especially in the last act, she makes the gypsy woman too petulant, too superficial. We should have a grudging admiration for Carmen's fierceness even though we realize how worthless she is. Miss Djanel, however, both sang and acted vividly. Raoul Jobin's Don José was satisfactory up to the last act, which is one of the most difficult things in all opera to sustain dramatically. It was not Alexander Sved's evening; rarely did he sing on pitch, nor was his Escamillo very impressive in other ways. Others in the cast were Thelma Votipka, Lucielle Browning, George Cehanovsky, Alessio de Paolis, Louis D'Angelo and John Baker. Mr. Pelletier's tempi were on the dead side most of the evening. As for the ballet, it may more mercifully be left undescribed.



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