[Met Performance] CID:146090
Carmen {430} Metropolitan Opera House: 11/18/1947.

(Debut: Claudia Pinza, Aida Alvarez
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
November 18, 1947


CARMEN {430}
Bizet-Meilhac/L. Halévy

Carmen..................Risë Stevens
Don José................Ramon Vinay
Micaela.................Claudia Pinza [Debut]
Escamillo...............Martial Singher
Frasquita...............Thelma Votipka
Mercédès................Martha Lipton
Remendado...............Alessio De Paolis
Dancaïre................George Cehanovsky
Zuniga..................Philip Kinsman
Moralès.................Clifford Harvuot
Dance...................Aida Alvarez [Debut]
Dance...................Leon Varkas

Conductor...............Louis Fourestier

Director................Désiré Defrère
Set designer............Joseph Urban
Costume designer........Mary Percy Schenck
Choreographer...........Boris Romanoff

Carmen received eleven performances this season.

Review of Howard Taubman in The New York Times

Ezio Pinza's Daughter, Claudia, Makes Bow At the Metropolitan as Micaela in "Carmen"

The news of last night's performance of "Carmen," the first of the season at the Metropolitan Opera House, was the debut here of Claudia Pinza as Micaela, Her father, Ezio, usually a central figure on the stage, sat in the auditorium with the other customers and listened, suffering, no doubt, from more nervousness than he has known in his own singing in years.

Claudia behaved, however, with the poise of the veteran. If she was jittery, she concealed it well. The young soprano, who has been singing publicly in Italy only for several seasons, did her first act scene with Don Jose with assurance. She disclosed a lyric soprano of fine quality, well placed and well trained, and she sang with style and feeling.

The third act aria was the more exacting test, which Miss Pinza did not carry off so well, She continued to sing with understanding, and her tones had color and richness of texture. But her top notes at the end let her down. Whether this was the inevitable result of a tough debut remains to be seen. One would guess, however, that she will develop into a gifted artist if she is not rushed too rapidly into difficult roles. In the few months that she has been in this country she has sung in San Francisco and other American cities.

The rest of the performance was largely familiar from other seasons. Rise Stevens in the name part played and sang with conviction. She is far from being a great singer, but she is evidently working hard on this role, and her conception is taking on variety and intensity. Ramon Vinay, whose dark tenor is well suited to Jose, sang with integrity, giving character to a role that is often just a tenor posturing across the stage. Martial Singher sang Escamillo with knowledge of the tradition.

Thelma Votipka, Martha Lipton, George Cehanovsky and Alessio De Paolis joined with Miss Stevens in an animated performance of the second-act quintet. Philip Kinsman and Clifford Harvuot rounded out the cast. Louis Fourestier conducted with the experience of a man who knows the routine. One wished that there were the imagination in the pit and on the stage to make "Carmen" glow with the passion that is in the magnificent work.



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