[Met Performance] CID:143740
Lakmé {60} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/18/1947.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 18, 1947


LAKMÉ {60}

Lakmé...................Patrice Munsel
Gérald..................Felix Knight
Mallika.................Irene Jordan
Frédéric................Martial Singher
Nilakantha..............Nicola Moscona
Hadji...................Leslie Chabay
Ellen...................Mimi Benzell
Rose....................Lucielle Browning
Mrs. Bentson............Thelma Altman
Fortuneteller...........Lodovico Oliviero
Merchant................Anthony Marlowe
Thief...................William Hargrave
Dance...................Irene Hawthorne
Dance...................Peggy Smithers
Dance...................Leon Varkas

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

Review signed A. V. B. in the Herald Tribune

A New Lakmé

Patrice Munsel's first appearance in the name-part of Delibes's "Lakmé" was the chief item of news in Saturday night's offering at the Metropolitan Opera House. Miss Munsel, like Lily Pons, has the coloratura notes necessary for this exacting part, and when they were allowed to float out most freely on Saturday they were unusually firm. In matters of taste, Miss Munsel is improving.

She has obviously worked hard in the role, and the over-all impression compares favorably with what we have been accustomed to, both in matters of pitch and in the general quality of feeling. But it is not a role to be grasped all at once, least of all by a twenty-one-year-old soprano. Thus, even if the showing was creditable enough, a more definitive judgment should be withheld until future appearances. Her subdued singing at the end of Act III had a delicacy of nuance that might be welcomed at other points, and the top tone at the end of the "Bell Song" should, hereafter, be prepared better in order that it may be held longer than it was on Saturday. And, as usual, Miss Munsel might have made more of her extraordinary natural vocal gifts. A most gratifying side-light was her imaginative costuming which avoided the customary pseudo-orientalism.

Leslie Chabay as Hadji and Mimi Benzell as Ellen were making their first appearances in these roles. Mr. Chabay in particular may be commended for the distinguished delivery of his brief solo. Wilfred Pelletier, conducting for the first time this season, achieved fine continuity. Substituting once again for Raoul Jobin, Felix Knight sang the part of Gerald, but with insufficient power to make much impression.



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