[Met Performance] CID:139680
Carmen {408} Northrup Auditorium, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 04/28/1945.

(Review)


Minneapolis, Minnesota
April 28, 1945


CARMEN {408}

Carmen..................Jennie Tourel
Don José................Armand Tokatyan
Micaela.................Mimi Benzell
Escamillo...............Frank Valentino
Frasquita...............Thelma Votipka
Mercédès................Lucielle Browning
Remendado...............Alessio De Paolis
Dancaïre................George Cehanovsky
Zuniga..................Louis D'Angelo
Moralès.................John Baker
Dance...................Michael Arshansky
Dance...................Kari Karnatoski
Dance...................Natasha Tzvetcova

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

Review of Norman C. Houk in the Minneapolis Sunday Tribune

'Carmen' Blazes in Color

George Bizet's "Carmen" wound up Minneapolis' festival of the Metropolitan Grand Opera Co. Saturday night with a blaze of color, like the vibrancy of its music. Northrop Auditorium was packed for this, one of the most familiar and popular of operas.

Jennie Tourel was Carmen, and that is a tough job, just because "Carmen" is so popular and well known. Every Carmen is compared with every other Carmen the beholders remember and no Carmen can possibly be a composite of all those who have gone before. She can only be what her own version of the character may be, and if that is a version arrived at with intelligence and conviction, the chances are it will be a good Carmen. Miss Tourel's voice is darkly hued, although it possesses softness and an airy quality.

She chooses to keep the character in an inconstant, willful and sometimes sharp vein. Frequently the role is sung with ardent passion, but Miss Tourel's way accords well with the fickleness and impish malice of Carmen as the story unfolds.

Don José was well sung by Armand Tokatyan, and while it is usual to praise first a star's arias, what must be given first place is his fine collaboration, notable even in the Met where a principal aim is unity and continuity.

Mimi Benzell was Micaela, with a pleasing clear soprano, and realizing well the simplicity to give the role appeal. Thelma Votipka was Frasquita, Lucielle Browning, Mercedes, Francesco Valentino was Escamillo the toreador, George Cehanovsky was Dancaire, Alessio de Paolis, Remendado; Louis d'Angelo, Zuniga and John Baker was Morales.

The stage was thickly peopled with crowds in brilliant costumes at the appropriate times and the chorus was heard to the best effect of the company's visit here.

Wilfred Pelletier, conductor, kept the music bright and the pace brisk, giving the whole thing vividness.

Already people are asking: Will the opera come back next year? One woman was greatly incensed because the box office would not "right now" accept her order for next year's tickets. There's a lot to be settled before the question can be answered, but there is encouragement to be found for the hope the Met season will be an annual affair in Minneapolis.



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