[Met Performance] CID:144530
Il Trovatore {232} Matinee ed. Metropolitan Opera House: 04/5/1947.


Metropolitan Opera House
April 5, 1947 Matinee

Giuseppe Verdi--Salvatore Cammarano

Manrico.................Jussi Björling
Leonora.................Daniza Ilitsch
Count Di Luna...........Leonard Warren
Azucena.................Margaret Harshaw
Ferrando................Nicola Moscona
Ines....................Thelma Votipka
Ruiz....................Lodovico Oliviero
Gypsy...................George Cehanovsky

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

Review of Noel Straus in The New York Times


Soprano Offers a Memorable Performance in "Trovatore" at Metropolitan

Daniza Ilitsch established herself as an artist of high distinction by her superb work as Leonora in the performance of Verdi's "Il Trovatore" presented at the final matinee of the season yesterday afternoon at the Metropolitan Opera House. Assuming the role for the first time with the company, the Yugolsav soprano, came fully into her own with a memorable account of it.

Miss Ilitsch had been heard here but once previously and, on that occasion, when she made her debut as Desdemona in "Otello," she was unable to do herself justice, partly through nervousness and partly because the music in that score of Verdi was not particularly well suited to her. Yesterday, her tones were concentrated, remarkably free and pure, and used with consummate artistry.

Few opera singers in the world today could match her vocalism for variety of color effects, wide range of expressiveness, and absolute security. True dramatic forcefulness was at her command throughout, the voice responding with extraordinary subtleness to every slightest change of mood. It was warm and brilliant when employed at the full, and unusually sweet and ably projected in softer passages. A silky legato enhanced the singing, adding to its many merits.

Everything she sang could be commended, but the climax of her striking performance was reached in the third act. The difficult florid aria, "D'amor sull' ali rosee," at the start of the act was delivered with noteworthy flexibility and perfection of detail, with a ringing high D flat at its climax and a most sensitively adjusted projection of the elaborate final phrases.

The richness of the low tones in the intensely sung "Miserere," and the wealth of varied tints brought to the final duet of that act evidenced the extraordinary range of vocal resources at the artist's disposal. The entrance aria of the first act, though somewhat below the excellence of the rest, was agiley put forth, and seldom is the "Degg'io io volgermi" and the ensuing music of Leonora in the finale of the second act so magnificently encompassed. Miss Ilitsch acted with an appealing simplicity and sincerity, her impersonation as well as her vocalism proving her one of the most gifted members of the company.

The rest of the cast with the exception of Nicola Muscoda as Fernando, had all been heard in the work before this season. Jusssi Bjoerling as Marico, Leonard Warren as the Count di Luna and Margaret Harshaw as Azucena were all in excellent voice and gave of their best in a well-rounded and impressive performance. Cesare Sodero provided careful orchestral support, but sometimes his tempi were on the slow side and there was a lack of sufficient accentuation and of vital impact in his directing.

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