[Met Performance] CID:149260
Aida {507} Metropolitan Opera House: 12/24/1948.

(Debut: Barbara Hausler
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 24, 1948


AIDA {507}
Giuseppe Verdi--Antonio Ghislanzoni

Aida....................Stella Roman
Radamès.................Ramon Vinay
Amneris.................Blanche Thebom
Amonasro................Frank Guarrera
Ramfis..................Jerome Hines
King....................Philip Kinsman
Messenger...............Paul Franke
Priestess...............Thelma Votipka
Dance...................Marina Svetlova
Dance...................Lorraine Ammerman
Dance...................Elissa Minet
Dance...................Barbara Hausler [Debut]
Dance...................Leon Varkas

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

Director................Désiré Defrère
Set designer............Angelo Parravicini
Costume designer........Ethel Fox
Choreographer...........Boris Romanoff

Aida received nine performances this season.

[A. Parravicini was not credited as set designer, though the scenery was his, repainted by Joseph Novak.]

Review of Jerome D. Bohm in the Herald Tribune

"Aida" Presented

Sung at Metropolitan for the First Time This Season

The first presentation of the season of "Aida" at the Metropolitan Opera House last night was not among the more memorable ones that have been accorded Verdi's masterpiece on this stage. It was a performance in which the vocalism was often as unpredictable as the conductor's discourse of the score - exhilarating moments juxtaposed with others in which the procedure sagged to the point of sluggishness.

This listener has called attention to Miss Roman's vocal idiosyncrasies so frequently it must be tiring to read by this time that her singing often varies from phrase to phrase, some truly enchanting sounds being immediately followed by others anything but alluring. Her delivery of Aida's music last night pursued an all too familiar pattern and one wondered whether the time would ever come when this sumptuous voiced soprano would take the pains to fully realize her exceptional potentialities and become, while there is still time, a dependable cantatrice.

Nor was the Amneris of Miss Thebom so impressive as it has been in past seasons. While it has always been my conviction that this mezzo-soprano would end her days a full-fledged soprano, the paths she seems to be pursuing, brightening and whitening her brilliant upper tones at same time, are not leading to desirable results.

As Radames, Mr. Vinay projected his tenor voice on the whole laboriously and his [first-scene] aria, "Celeste Aida," sounded almost like an unsatisfactory radio broadcast, some portions in the lower and middle registers fading out at times almost to the point of inaudibility.

The most impressive singing was that of Mr. Hines, whose rich bass voice was produced with unerring adherence to a vocal line, and that of Mr. Guerrara, who appeared for the first time here as Amonosro, projecting his baritone voice to good purpose from both the tonal and expressive points of view.



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