[Met Performance] CID:144710
Lucia di Lammermoor {226} Chicago, Illinois: 04/23/1947.

(Review)


Chicago, Illinois
April 23, 1947


LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR {226}

Lucia...................Patrice Munsel
Edgardo.................Ferruccio Tagliavini
Enrico..................Robert Merrill
Raimondo................Giacomo Vaghi
Normanno................Lodovico Oliviero
Alisa...................Thelma Votipka
Arturo..................Leslie Chabay

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


Review of William Leonard in the Chicago Journal of Commerce

Tagliavini Steals the Show in Met's "Lucia di Lammermoor"

The Metropolitan Opera's production of "Lucia di Lammermoor," at the Opera House last night, might more appropriately have been billed as "Edgardo di Ravenswood," for the tenor, in the stage-wise person of Ferruccio Tagliavini, was the whole show. He sang with lyric beauty and native intelligence that invested Donizetti's ineffectual hero with personality for one of the rare times in that character's history. He is not really an actor, excepting by operatic standards, but he bears himself with presence and poise, and actually seems to impart some of his strength to others.

Last night, for instance, Patrice Munsel sounded better every time she sang with Mr. Tagliavini than when she was holding the stage alone or with only a lady friend. The soprano, though she did not negotiate Lucia's fioratura with anything like the proper amount of fluidity, was remarkably improved from her Orchestra Hall performance of last Friday when a cold handicapped her.

Next to Mr. Tagliavini, the most persuasive singer was Robert Merrill, a continually improving baritone who made Lord Henry Aston sound commanding from his very first scene. Giacomo Vaghi's Bide-the-Bent, was stiff and constricted, and Leslie Chabay's tenor was of insufficient weight to do the unfortunate Arthur Bucklaw full justice.

The five singers named, with the Alice of Thelma Votipka, sang a second-act sextet which was not ideally proportioned, but which pleased the capacity audience, an unusually enthusiastic one, immensely.

Even the sextet, however, was prefaced and followed by such skillful demonstrations by Mr. Tagliavini of how to act on the opera stage, that it was practically his personal property. His entrance just before the "Chi mi frena" was electrifying, and his malediction upon Lucia at the conclusion of the scene was a good, old-fashioned, hammy but thrilling outburst that brought the curtain down dramatically.

It was a good thing for "Lucia" that the tenor was there last night.



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