[Met Performance] CID:146000
Don Giovanni {131} Metropolitan Opera House: 11/7/1947.

(Debut: Polyna Stoska
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
November 7, 1947
Benefit for the Ring cycle production fund


DON GIOVANNI {131}
Mozart-Da Ponte

Don Giovanni............Ezio Pinza
Donna Anna..............Rose Bampton
Don Ottavio.............Charles Kullman
Donna Elvira............Polyna Stoska [Debut]
Leporello...............Salvatore Baccaloni
Zerlina.................Nadine Conner
Masetto.................Mack Harrell
Commendatore............Jerome Hines

Conductor...............Max Rudolf

Director................Herbert Graf
Designer................Joseph Urban

Don Giovanni received thirteen performances this season.


Review of Irving Kolodin in the New York Sun

The Music Makers

Benefit "Don Giovanni" for 'Ring' Fund at the Met

An approximate millennium was reached at the Opera House last night when Mozart's "Don Giovanni" became the season-[first] opera (if unofficially), as well as benefactor to the production fund for a new "Ring" setting. There was less visible finery than there will be for the official [first night] on Monday, but a good deal more of an audible kind from the pit and stage as Polyna Stocka made her debut as Elvira. Between acts Mme Lucrezia Bori (looking svelte enough to step in as Zerlina) announced that the evening's $18,000 (a sellout plus gifts) left but $31,500 unearned of the $100,000 total.

With Max Rudolf conducting in place of the indisposed Fritz Busch, the performance began soundly enough, though it sagged measurably in the later ensembles and through the second act. The disposition to clown the scene under Elvira's window lowered the tone of the whole affair. Ezio Pinza sang a splendid Don even more suavely than ever before, though a nervous accompanist in the pit hurried him through the "Serenata." This was typical of other ensemble faults which should be corrected, including Salvatore Baccaloni's overplayed Leporello.

Youthful Miss Stoska, not long ago singing in "Street Scene," was a decidedly successful Elvira. She has an admirable conception of the part, and if she omitted the famous interpolated arias, what she undertook was clearly strongly sung. Her rich middle tones are the heart of the voice, but there is sufficient top for comfort plus the musicianship to make much of what she has. A handsome figure on the stage, she should grace it for years to come. There will be occasion in the future to discuss it and Rose Bampton's Donna Anna, Charles Kullman's Ottavio and Mack Harrell's Masetto, but the good work of Nadine Conner (Zerlina) and Jerome Hines (El Commendatore) should be mentioned at once, also Rudolf's spirit and general efficiency.



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