[Met Performance] CID:139650
Lucia di Lammermoor {212} Northrup Auditorium, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 04/26/1945.


Minneapolis, Minnesota
April 26, 1945


Lucia...................Patrice Munsel
Edgardo.................James Melton
Enrico..................Leonard Warren
Raimondo................Nicola Moscona
Normanno................Lodovico Oliviero
Alisa...................Thelma Votipka
Arturo..................John Garris

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

Review of Warren Wirtz in the Minneapolis Daily Times


The extravagant goings-on of Italianized Scots in the case of Ravenswood versus Lammermoor according to Donizetti was the matter at hand last night in Northrop Auditorium. Presenting "Lucia di Lammermoor," the first of the four operas of the spring festival here, the Metropolitan Opera Company of New York re-established for this Midwestern outpost its uncontested superiority. Singers, the best, ensemble, the best production, costumes, dancing, all the best. If you are a push-over for Italian opera, then you were in at least eighth heaven last night.

Unanimous vote for favorite, and not only because she was cast in the star role, went to young Patrice Munsel. Lovelier creature to fulfill your early ideal of what an opera heroine should be - slender, graceful, enchanting, etc. is hard to imagine. Hers was a truly extraordinary portrayal of this unfortunate Ophelia. She had all the graces, and there was nothing histrionic in her charm. The famous mad scene and the scene in which she was given the forged letter from Edgardo were her big moments.

Possessed of an astonishingly mature voice for her age, she was best on top. The lower half of her register was at time vague and uncertain. If there must be a choice, however, between the completely mature voice (which seems to require precious intestinal fortitude) and the svelte, convincing ingénue, give us Patrice Munsel!

James Melton, smooth actor with velvety voice, projected a sympathetic Edgardo. In Leonard Warren whose voice is rich and powerful, was found a formidable Lord Ashton, conniving brother of Lucia. Other principals were Thelma Votipka, Alisa, Nicola Moscona, Raimondo, John Garris, Arturo, and Lodovico Oliviero, Normanno. Raimondo, tutor and announcer of bad news, had a spotlight to which he was more than equal.

Props and drops were admirably suited to the colorful tragedy - the crypt, the ruined castle, and the great hall. It was worth the trouble we have been hearing about. Eighteenth century costumes were a show in themselves.

A brief but pleasing ballet opened the third act to some of the opera's peppiest music. In the same act we heard the famous sextet.

Exclamation points of the singers' text were directed, followed and clipped with precision by conductor Pietro Cimara. Of the entire orchestra which gave good support, special praise goes to the harpist for her finished performance of the nice solo before the second scene of Act I.

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