[Met Performance] CID:138170
Lucia di Lammermoor {205} Metropolitan Opera House: 12/13/1944.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 13, 1944


LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR {205}
Donizetti-Cammarano

Lucia...................Patrice Munsel
Edgardo.................Jan Peerce
Enrico..................Leonard Warren
Raimondo................Nicola Moscona
Normanno................Lodovico Oliviero
Alisa...................Thelma Votipka
Arturo..................Richard Manning

Conductor...............Cesare Sodero

Director................Lothar Wallerstein
Designer................Richard Rychtarik
Choreographer...........Laurent Novikoff

Lucia di Lammermoor received ten performances this season.


Review of Mark A. Shubart in The New York Times

MISS MUNSEL MAKES HER DEBUT IN 'LUCIA'

Last night's performance of `Lucia," the first of the season at the Metropolitan, was generally a lacklustre affair, with little more than competence on the stage and some uninspired playing in the pit. It had neither pace nor style, and the elaborate Metropolitan sets and costumes did not help to detract attention from the fact.

Singing the title role for the first time, Miss Munsel did little to change earlier evaluations of her abilities. Despite the remarkable agility of her voice, which negotiated the florid coloratura arias with apparent ease and lent her singing a falsely spectacular appearance, it is a small soprano, and one which is lacking in warmth and vibrancy. Above G and A flat it has a light, birdlike quality, but the lower register is neither strong enough, nor dramatic enough, successfully to portray an essentially dramatic role such as Donizetti's.

In that most famous of all coloratura tours-de-force, the Mad Scene, Miss Munsel had ample opportunity to display vocal pyrotechnics and did so to the obvious enjoyment of the audience. That she sang the role with poise and assurance is, at the age of 19, something of an achievement. But her immaturity in dealing with the serious vocal and dramatic problems inherent in the role should give pause for thought in the planning of her future career.

The rest of the cast, overshadowed by Miss Munsel's efforts, produced no distinguished performances. Mr. Peerce was not in good voice and, despite his usual impeccable musicianship, was reduced, at times, to shouting. Mr. Warren, too, seemed to fall under the spell of the hour, and Mr. Manning has yet to display more than routine talents. Mr. Moscona and Miss Votipka were perhaps the only singers who escaped from the evening unscathed, both singing with a vocal assurance and stagecraft suitable to the Metropolitan.



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