[Met Performance] CID:139110
La Traviata {274} Metropolitan Opera House: 03/9/1945.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
March 9, 1945


LA TRAVIATA {274}
Giuseppe Verdi--Francesco Maria Piave

Violetta................Eleanor Steber
Alfredo.................Charles Kullman
Germont.................Richard Bonelli
Flora...................Thelma Votipka
Gastone.................Alessio De Paolis
Baron Douphol...........George Cehanovsky
Marquis D'Obigny........Louis D'Angelo
Dr. Grenvil.............Lorenzo Alvary
Annina..................Mona Paulee
Dance...................Monna Montes
Dance...................Alexis Dolinoff
Dance...................Leon Varkas

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

Review of Jerome D. Bohm in the Herald Tribune

"Traviata" at Metropolitan

Eleanor Steber Sings Role of Violetta for First Time

Verdi's "La Traviata" was given its fifth and final performance of the season at the Metropolitan Opera House Friday night. Eleanor Steber was heard for the first time in the role of Violetta and the otherwise familiar cast included Charles Kullman as Alfredo; Richard Bonelli as Germont, and the Misses Votipka and Paulee and Messrs. De Paolis, Cehanovsky, D'Angelo and Alvary in the less weighty parts. Mr. Sodero conducted.

Miss Steber's portrayal of Violetta was vocally most acceptable in the frivolous episodes of the first act. Her delivery of the florid passages of "Sempre libera" was accurate and pure in intonation, although her sustained top tones were a trifle breathy in quality.

But the more dramatic pages of Violetta's music found the young soprano beyond her emotional depths. The duet with the elder Germont in the second act was, in part, tonally agreeable but quite wanting in depth of feeling: and in her subsequent parting with Alfredo, one of the most moving scenes in all Verdi, she was unable to impart the accents of impassioned despair to her singing.

Histrionically regarded, Miss Steber's delineation is as yet stilted and artificial in its approach, never penetrating beneath the surface of the role.



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