[Met Performance] CID:149590
L'Elisir d'Amore {63} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/23/1949.


Metropolitan Opera House
January 23, 1949


Adina...................Marilyn Cotlow
Nemorino................Giuseppe Di Stefano
Belcore.................Giuseppe Valdengo
Dr. Dulcamara...........Italo Tajo
Giannetta...............Paula Lenchner

Conductor...............Giuseppe Antonicelli

Review of Robert Sabin in the Musical America issue February 1949

Three singers appeared in their roles for the first time at the Metropolitan, when Donizetti's comedy was given in a special performance (the season's fourth) for the benefit of the West Side Institutional Synagogue. Marilyn Cotlow was the new Adina; Giuseppe Di Stefano, the new Nemorino, and Italo Tajo, the new Dulcamara. Giuseppe Valdengo sang the role of Belcore and Paula Lenchner was the Giannetta.

Mr. Tajo's portrayal of the rascally "doctor" dominated the stage. He sang the part with elegance, but there was a touch of exaggeration in his acting which was unnecessary in so accomplished an artist. Can it be that Mr. Tajo has decided that American audiences should be handed their comedy in the crude fashion which has almost become a tradition of the Metropolitan Opera in recent years? One hopes not, for his performance in the role in the Italian motion picture version of the opera, shown here last year, was a far superior characterization and a finer example of style.

Miss Cotlow's performance was technically accurate and intelligently planned, but she did not seem ideally cast.

By the time he reached "Una furtiva lagrima," Mr. Di Stefano was singing with luscious tone quality and smoothness of phrasing. His acting was, to put it kindly, abecedarian. Both Mr. Valdengo and Miss Lenchner performed in spirited fashion and Giuseppe Antonicelli kept the score moving. The audience received the opera with a frantic enthusiasm which must have been gratifying to the singers, if a little astonishing to those who knew how differently it can sound in a really polished and unified production.

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