[Met Performance] CID:138240
La Traviata {271} American Academy of Music, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 12/19/1944.

(Review)


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
December 19, 1944


LA TRAVIATA {271}
Giuseppe Verdi--Francesco Maria Piave

Violetta................Bidú Sayao
Alfredo.................James Melton
Germont.................Leonard Warren
Flora...................Thelma Votipka
Gastone.................Alessio De Paolis
Baron Douphol...........George Cehanovsky
Marquis D'Obigny........Louis D'Angelo
Dr. Grenvil.............Mack Harrell
Annina..................Mona Paulee
Dance...................Monna Montes
Dance...................Alexis Dolinoff
Dance...................Leon Varkas

Conductor...............Pietro Cimara

Review of Elsie Finn in the Philadelphia Record

"La Traviata" Presented At Academy by Met

Metropolitan Opera patrons were treated to a handsome, moving and effectively sung performance of Verdi's "La Traviata" at the Academy of Music last night.

The touching tale of the 23-year old consumptive who "looked like a piece of Dresden china" was given conviction as well as lyric beauty by young Bidu Sayao, Brazilian singer who made her debut in the role here last season.

A far cry from the heavyweight sopranos who shook their beds as they coughed themselves to death. Miss Sayao is dainty, slim and as seductive as a butterfly of the French salons should be. To these assets she added a polished artistry and a fresh, warm voice whose limitations she never taxed. And her acting was fully cognizant of the contrasting emotions of the role.

Miss Sayao sang economically in her first-act aria "Ah fors e lui," but her "Sempre libera," which followed, was a joy to hear. The round beauty of her tones matched the beauty of Verdi's music.

Melton Excellent

James Melton, the opera's Alfredo, was another reason for the opera's visual as well as vocal conviction. Melton not only boasts a waistline but a splendid tenor voice whose tones warm with romance and harden with wrath. While Melton is no Barrymore, he gave Violetta an easy, ardent and thoroughly believable suitor.

Leonard Warren was well cast as the elder Germont in a role that demands more of his resourceful and vibrant baritone voice than it did of his acting ability. Throughout Warren's voice reigned with lyric magnificence and his second-act scene with Violetta was a memorable musical event.

Color and Brilliance

Always an attractive stage spectacle, last night's "La Traviata" matched the best for color and brilliance. Miss Sayao's costumes were dazzling and the third act was gay with the gypsy and Spanish dances headed by Monna Montes, Alexis Dolinoff and Leon Varkas.

Under Pietro Cimara's direction the orchestra found the warm, fluent beauty of the Verdi score. Among those who gave the principals excellent vocal support were Mona Paulee, the Anina, Alessio de Paolis, the Gastone, George Cehanovsky as Baron Duphol, Louis D'Angelo as Marquis D'Obligny and Lorenzo Alvary as Doctor Grenvil.



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