[Met Performance] CID:146950
Aida {501} Metropolitan Opera House: 02/4/1948.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
February 4, 1948


AIDA {501}
Giuseppe Verdi--Antonio Ghislanzoni

Aida....................Florence Kirk
Radamès.................Kurt Baum
Amneris.................Blanche Thebom
Amonasro................Giuseppe Valdengo
Ramfis..................Jerome Hines
King....................Philip Kinsman
Messenger...............Lodovico Oliviero
Priestess...............Maxine Stellman
Dance...................Lorraine Ammerman
Dance...................Audrey Keane
Dance...................Elissa Minet
Dance...................Ilona Murai
Dance...................Leon Varkas

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

Review signed A. V. B. in the Herald Tribune

"Aida" Once Again

Jerome Hines Sings Ramfis at the Metropolitan

Jerome Hines sang his first Ramfis at the Metropolitan Opera House last night when "Aida" was given there for the fourth time this season. In this role, as in others he has undertaken here, his singing was exceptionally neat, and there was an accuracy of pitch that is all the more welcome in a basso these days, since so many singers in this range have a tendency to flounder about between the notes. Once again, however, while his dignity and taste were welcome, he left room for greater warmth and dramatic freedom which, it is hoped, this young man will gain with more experience and the confidence that repeated effort engenders.

The performance, which was under the direction of Emil Cooper, also marked Florence Kirk's first appearance of the season. In her efforts with the title role, Miss Kirk started at a disadvantage, in a costume quite out of character for an Ethiopian slave and in poor taste - something between a negligee and an evening gown, calculated for a seduction. The qualities of her natural voice, which may be intrinsically far from insubstantial, were quite neutralized by her singing methods, which resulted in almost constant tremolo, frequent flatting of pitch, and a habit of sliding into tones so that the shapes of phrases were leveled off. There was little that could be described as either secure or beautiful.

Kurt Baum, singing his first Radames of the season, was in excellent form. There was no vestige of the wooden, bleaty character that has, at times, marred his performance of this role. The high tones were very round and powerful, and the nuances were often affecting. His notable growth as a singer was a major part of the evening's news.

Maxine Stellman, as the priestess, also appearing in her role for the first time this season, sang more than acceptably. The familiar members of the cast were Blanche Thebom, Philip Kinsman, Giuseppe Valdengo and Lodovico Oliviero.



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