[Met Performance] CID:147640
Aida {504} Municipal Auditorium, Chattanooga, Tenn.: 04/5/1948.

(Review)


Chicago, Illinois
April 5, 1948


AIDA {504}
Giuseppe Verdi--Antonio Ghislanzoni

Aida....................Daniza Ilitsch
Radamès.................Kurt Baum
Amneris.................Blanche Thebom
Amonasro................Leonard Warren
Ramfis..................Nicola Moscona
King....................Philip Kinsman
Messenger...............Leslie Chabay
Priestess...............Maxine Stellman
Dance...................Marina Svetlova
Dance...................Lorraine Ammerman
Dance...................Elissa Minet
Dance...................Ilona Murai
Dance...................Leon Varkas

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


Review of Ruth Golden in the Chattanooga Times

AUDIENCE OF 4,000 HEARS GREAT "AIDA"

Cooper Praised for Welding Opera to Unity - Svetlova Captivates With Dancers

Verdi's stirring music and the magnificent voices of the Metropolitan Opera Company cast of "Aida" filled the walls of the Memorial Auditorium last evening, and descended on the enthusiastic ears of approximately 4,000 persons. The audience decked out for this most splendid of musical occasions in Chattanooga, eagerly applauded a beautiful performance, presented in all its grandeur.

"Aida" is indeed a perfect synthesis of the dramatic and the lyric, of triumphal mass scenes and gentle tender duets. Its emotional range carries one from vibrating marches to religious chants, gently humorous dances and reaches peaks with the unsurpassed arias. A difficult vehicle, it requires the utmost of its singers and musicians. Last night's performance fulfilled all promises.

Chattanoogans were dressed in true opera style. The boxes were glittering and evening clothes prevailed throughout the orchestra and dress circle. The welcome to the greatest musical organization in this country was fitting and colorful.

Ilitsch in Title Role

The cast was headed by Daniza Ilitsch, heard in the title role. Miss Ilitsch was in beautiful voice. In the first act her 'numi pieta" was sung with all the gentleness, tragedy and beauty of the unhappy Aida. She reached new heights in her aria of the third act, where an almost audible hush settled over the audience. Throughout her performance she sang with every power at her command and instilled all the loveliness in her final scene that one could want.

Kurt Baum as Radames delivered a beautiful rendition of "Celeste Aida," but unfortunately, due to indisposition, was unable to maintain his high level. Due to a cold which almost completely captured his voice, it was necessary to cut one of his scenes, and his usually stirring tenor was almost inaudible in the final scene. His appearance in the first scene of Act IV was eliminated, which was a real loss to the opera lovers who would not spare a single note of "Aida." However, the lapse was so gracefully made that it might have been inobvious to many and we extend a nod of admiration to Mr. Baum who continued his performance despite his handicap.

To the evening's lovely Amneris should go countless bouquets. Miss Blanche Thebom, always superlative, again filled the qualifications of that adjective. Not only has she a pure, full voice, but she is also an actress of note. Her portrayal of the jealous, unloved princess made her a focal point whenever she appeared. Miss Thebom was truly in beautiful voice, and her rendering last night will not soon be forgotten. The beautiful singer won many hearts.

The role of Amonasro is an exciting one, and none could sing it better than Leonard Warren, whose stirring voice makes his every note large and important. His aria in the second act was a high point, unsurpassed.

Philip Kinsman as the King and Nicola Moscona as Ramfis, fulfilled every wish. Their austere roles were played with dignity.

Once could mention at length the beauty of the sets and the splendor of the costumes, for they set the mood for the evening's entertainment. A Metropolitan Opera production is an exciting event and makes one long for more.

A delightful interlude was the dance by Mariana Svetlova, in the "Triumphal Dance." The graceful art of the leading ballerina added greatly to a thrilling act.

Emil Cooper's talent seemed to fuse the voices and music into a living unit, without which neither one could exist. His orchestra sang with the lyric phrases, and thundered to the marches. The music was not a background, but an integral part, which should place Mr. Cooper on stage with the performers.

J. Oscar Miller quoted Edward Johnson, the general manager of the opera company, as saying that he had never heard the second act sung with more beauty, even in New York City. Hearing "Aida" has been a privilege, and we look forward to the return of the Metropolitan.



Added Index Entries for Subjects and Names


Back to short citation(s).