[Met Performance] CID:147550
Manon {160} Matinee ed. Metropolitan Opera House: 03/27/1948.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
March 27, 1948 Matinee


MANON {160}

Manon...................Licia Albanese
Des Grieux..............Giuseppe Di Stefano
Lescaut.................Martial Singher
Count des Grieux........Jerome Hines
Guillot.................Alessio De Paolis
Brétigny................George Cehanovsky
Poussette...............Frances Greer
Javotte.................Maxine Stellman
Rosette.................Claramae Turner
Innkeeper...............Gerhard Pechner
Guard...................Anthony Marlowe
Guard...................John Baker
Maid....................May Savage
Dance...................Marina Svetlova
Dance...................Audrey Keane
Dance...................Fiala Mraz
Dance...................Ilona Murai
Dance...................Nina Boneck
Dance...................Tilda Morse
Dance...................Laura Novak
Dance...................Peggy Smithers
Dance...................Leon Varkas

Conductor...............Wilfred Pelletier

Review of Noel Straus in The New York Times

Di Stefano Scores in Des Grieux Role

Lyric Tenor of Metropolitan Again Impresses Audience, Singing Part in "Manon"

Massenet's "Manon" received its seventh and last performance of the season yesterday afternoon at the Metropolitan Opera House. Giuseppe Di Stefano, the company's new lyric tenor, who had not been heard since his recent successful debut as the Duke in "Rigoletto," was the Des Grieux of an otherwise familiar cast.

Mr. Di Stefano again impressed by the excellence of his voice, with its warm, concentrated tones, marked by pronounced beauty of timber. He looked the part of the handsome young aristocrat of Abbé Prevost's imagination and acted the role ably, investing his impersonation with refinement and fervor.

In the duet of the first act and the aria "Le Rêve," Mr. Di Stefano's singing was admirably clean. If the sounds in the lower register lacked something of the resonance and meatiness of the rest of the long scale, the entire voice, from top to bottom, was well pointed, pure and firm. "Le Rêve" was delivered with skilled use of mezza voce and finely produced pianissimo effects, without resorting to falsetto.

In this aria the tones were carefully colored, but when Mr. Di Stefano reached the "Ah, fuyez" in the St. Sulpice scene, he was less successful in this respect and here, for the first time, he pushed his tones and blemished a couple of them in a too Italianate sort of approach. Up to this time, however, all of his work had been of exceptional worth, vocally as well as from the interpretive point of view. And among the many merits of his performance was the ability to pronounce French in a thoroughly creditable manner.

The company, undoubtedly, has a real find in this youthful, modest artist, whose appearance in future will be watched with great interest. He aroused the large audience to a prolonged demonstration of approval after his account of the "Le Rêve," and it was fully justified.

Licia Albanese was once more entrusted with the title role in a cast also including Martial Singher as Lescaut, Jerome Hines as the elder Des Grieux, Alessio De Paolis as Guillot and George Cehanovsky as Du Bretigny. Wilfred Pelletier conducted.



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