[Met Performance] CID:146100
Il Trovatore {233} Metropolitan Opera House: 11/19/1947.

(Debuts: Inge Manski, Cloe Elmo
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
November 19, 1947


IL TROVATORE {233}
Giuseppe Verdi--Salvatore Cammarano

Manrico.................Kurt Baum
Leonora.................Stella Roman
Count Di Luna...........Leonard Warren
Azucena.................Cloe Elmo [Debut]
Ferrando................Giacomo Vaghi
Ines....................Inge Manski [Debut]
Ruiz....................Lodovico Oliviero
Gypsy...................John Baker

Conductor...............Emil Cooper

Director................Herbert Graf
Set designer............Harry Horner
Costume designer........Mary Percy Schenck

Il Trovatore received eight performances this season.


Review of Virgil Thomson in the Herald Tribune

High Artistry and Bravura

Cloe Elmo's debut last night at the Metropolitan Opera House was everything such an event should be. A great Italian singer in a great role (that of Azucena in Verdi's "IlTrovatore" surrounded by a cast of noble voices and conducted by a master of the Italian style (Emil Cooper, no less, Russian though he be), gave a performance that can be compared locally only with the very greatest ones of a far-gone past, and with very few of those. All that was missing was the claque. None was needed, either. Applause was spontaneous, massive, thoroughly grateful.

Miss Elmo's voice is bright in color and enormous in range. She is neither a hooty alto nor one of your mealy-mouthed mezzos. She sings frankly and brilliantly at all ranges, with a vast variety of volumes and of color effects. Her vocalism is masterful, her diction perfect, her projection, at all levels of loudness and in all the registers, 100 per cent efficient. She is an actress, moreover, of great power. The especial rarity of her work, beyond the natural beauty of her voice, lies in her mastery of the bravura style. She does not gulp or weep or croon or force. She merely projects a brilliant or dramatic passage with such intensity and such accuracy that the impact, both musical and dramatic, shocks one's whole being into wide-awakeness. Caruso used to do that, and Rosa Ponselle, too; but we have not had much of it around in recent years. Let us hope Miss Elmo stays around for a long time.

Let us hope also that the present cast of "Il Trovatore" will be kept together for a while. The voices are so well matched for size and for beauty that it would be a pity to see the show they are giving now go to pieces under undue substitutions. Next to Miss Elmo in grandeur of effect last night was Kurt Baum, who sang Manrico more than merely handsomely and gave us real high C's. Leonard Warren, as the Count di Luna, was pretty grand, too, though the bravura style is not his forte.

Stella Roman, as Leonora, had no style at all; and she is absurd as an actress. (She staggers, twists, lurches and clutches.) She has a spectacularly beautiful voice. It is a pity that she won't simply sing with it, instead of crooning and gurgling all the soft or low passages and chewing up the melodic line everywhere until it is nothing but a series of single notes and the tune of it unrecognizable

Inge Manski also made her Metropolitan debut last night. She sang the small role of Inez with pretty tone and lovely style. She is a good-looking woman and a straightforward artist. Whether she is star material remains to be seen, but certainly she is an artist of distinction. The only member of last night's cast who seemed out of place in that powerful assemblage was Giacomo Vaghi, whose Ferrando was slow in tempo, fiat in pitch and in general a bit logy.

The performance otherwise was one of great brilliance, with Cloe Elmo as the central luminary. Don't miss her if you like Italian vocalism and the bravura style at their best. Or if you simply love singing.



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