[Met Performance] CID:146750
Lucia di Lammermoor {230} Matinee Broadcast ed. Metropolitan Opera House: 01/17/1948., Broadcast


Metropolitan Opera House
January 17, 1948 Matinee Broadcast


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

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

Review by Louis Biancolli in the New York World-Telegram

Pons Hits High Spots in "Lucia"

With Lily Pons back Saturday as the sweet-toned Lucy of Lammermoor, the Metropolitan may be said to have begun the New Year right. Those who had been harping on a decline in the little lady's vocal powers were in for a surprise. After 18 years of local service in the high soprano wing, she was singing her debut role as brilliantly as ever. Miss Coloratura is still a winner.

Earlier in the week Miss Pons canceled an assignment in "The Barber of Seville," pleading a cold. There was no hint of malady in the vocal cords Saturday as the chic little diva rolled up altitude in the top registers. The staccato notes reeled off as brightly as bells in the clear night air. If there was any strain along the vocal range, Miss Pons never showed it. It all seemed effortless and spontaneous, and she made it all sound as easy as talking.

It may be that long rest periods between big assignments have helped preserve Miss Pons' voice at its pristine glow. It may also be that daily care and practice have kept it young. My own hunch was always that this voice was made of durable metal.

No doubt a good part of Saturday's ovation was attributable to everybody's joy at having the First Lady of Coloratura back in her first Metropolitan role. The occasion may also have called for a special measure of holiday gallantry. But most of the cheering was over one simple fact - the lady cast as the heroine in Donizetti's opera was singing like an angel. That she happened also to be Lily Pons merely confirmed the crowd's own conviction that what it heard was the McCoy.

The performance also gained on Saturday from the artistic work of Ferruccio Tagliavini. When he wants to Signor Tagliavini can be dramatic without shouting and lyrical without melting. He evidently was so disposed on Saturday, and one beneficiary - among many - was Donizetti.

The chorus sang on Saturday as if it had just made a collective New Year's resolution and was already carrying it out. For his part, Pietro Cimara conducted as if New Year's was just another day in which to give Donizetti, or Verdi, or Puccini, his very best.

Now let's watch the company follow up.

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