[Met Performance] CID:146080
Don Giovanni {133} Metropolitan Opera House: 11/17/1947.


Metropolitan Opera House
November 17, 1947


Don Giovanni............Ezio Pinza
Donna Anna..............Regina Resnik
Don Ottavio.............Charles Kullman
Donna Elvira............Florence Quartararo
Leporello...............Salvatore Baccaloni
Zerlina.................Nadine Conner
Masetto.................Lorenzo Alvary
Commendatore............Jerome Hines

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

Review of Jerome D. Bohm in the New York Herald Tribune

'Don Giovanni'

Mozart Opera is Presented at the Metropolitan

The season's first subscription presentation of Mozart's "Don Giovanni," at the Metropolitan Opera House last night - a pre-seasonal one had been given on Nov. 7 - brought with it several important changes in cast, one of them, the Masetto of Mr. Alvary, was unscheduled, and replaced Mack Harrell who was indisposed. This was Mr. Alvary's first assumption of this role here as it was Miss Resnik's as Donna Anna and Miss Quartararo's as Donna Elvira.

Miss Resnik's delivery of Donna Anna's music was uneven in quality. She was least effective in her first-act aria. "Or sai chi l'honore" which overtaxed her vocal resources considerably. This young soprano, who in recent seasons has found singing in her upper register difficult, was led to force her tones to the point of stridency by the intensely dramatic contents of this aria. She was heard more advantageously in her second-act aria, "Non mi dir," of which the slow first half was expressively voiced and those portions of the rapid second half, which did not lie uncomfortably high for her, were effectively encompassed; and her negotiation of the florid passages was assured and accurate. Her hold to the Mozartean style was, as a matter of fact, at all times firm and her singing of the softer sections of the ensembles was often quite persuasive. Dramatically viewed, her delineation had an often touching nobility of demeanor.

As Donna Elvira, Miss Quartararo did well only in the softly sung ensembles; her naturally limpid and warm voice when utilized full strength was produced so openly that no forward resonance was possible and her tones never issued forth with the necessary concentration; nor was she able to deliver the bravura pages in quick tempo of her music cleanly and without cackling. Her assumption of the role of Don Giovanni's unhappy spouse was, however, a dignified, sympathetic one from the histrionic aspect.

It was a pleasure for once to see a Masetto who did not conceive his role as a farcical one, playing it for the laughs to be derived from the gauche behavior of a country bumpkin. Instead, Mr. Alvary made of him an honest fellow whose jealous zeal in attempting to protect the innocent Zerlina was worthy of respect and gentle humor.

For this listener the only unsullied vocal delights of the evening were provided by the captivatingly sung Zerlina of Miss Conner. And the finest contribution of the performance was the superb discourse of the orchestral score by Mr. Rudolf, who illuminated every facet of Mozart's inimitable score with the unfailing light of his tellingly paced perceptive conception.

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