[Met Performance] CID:146370
Lucia di Lammermoor {228} Metropolitan Opera House: 12/16/1947.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 16, 1947


LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR {228}
Donizetti-Cammarano

Lucia...................Lily Pons
Edgardo.................Ferruccio Tagliavini
Enrico..................Robert Merrill
Raimondo................Nicola Moscona
Normanno................Lodovico Oliviero
Alisa...................Thelma Votipka
Arturo..................Felix Knight

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

Director................Désiré Defrère
Designer................Richard Rychtarik
Choreographer...........Boris Romanoff

Lucia di Lammermoor received six performances this season.

[Pons' costumes were designed by Valentina.]

Review of Irving Kolodin in the New York Sun

Pons and Tagliavini Return in "Lucia"

The old tradition that benefit performances should be spared the critic's notice may have to be revised as far as the Metropolitan Opera is concerned, with only benefits reviewed. Last night's "Lucia" for the Free Milk Fund for Babies was a glittering affair compared to most of those the subscription season has so far offered, with Lily Pons and Ferrucio Tagliavini both appearing for the first time this winter.

It marked, too, the first time they have sung at the opera house together, though they have shared the stage elsewhere. The gain was largely Mme. Pons's for the dramatic fire that Tagliavini kindled in their scenes together, and for the platform of security he put under her voice. As in many a "Lucia" of the past, Mme. Pons's first act was indifferently sung, with some improvement in the second preceding a representative effort in the third. Belaboring Mme. Pons for her insecure pitch at this date is akin to discovering the crack in the Liberty Bell; but there may be some who may wonder, at odd times, what is responsible for the sounds that are heard. In other respects there was much that was neat, judicious and well-planned in her effort.

In contrast to his work last year, Tagliavini was all confidence from the moment he entered to a burst of applause, singing not only with greater freedom, but also with what sounded to this listener like a bigger, better, bolder timbre. He managed his dramatic effects without covering his tones as he did previously, taking and holding a B flat at the end of the second act that made the outer fringes of the audience slightly hysterical. More pertinently, it was part of a dramatic portrayal that had, in this stock part, enough verve and conviction to animate the ensemble and even communicate itself to the orchestra led by Pietro Cimara. This worthy musician can do more than he does; why doesn't he?

Another robust effort was the Ashton of Robert Merrill, full of rounded tone that almost, but not quite, became dramatic without its originator's knowledge. Nicola Moscona was an able Raimondo and Thelma Votipka a well-sounding Alisa. Felix Knight and Lodovico Oliviero completed the cast. The conjunction of the two stars brought out an overflow audience, with many lingering in the lobbies after all admissions were sold, just to be close to what, either indescribable or unspeakable, was going on inside.



Added Index Entries for Subjects and Names


Back to short citation(s).