[Met Performance] CID:158290
Cavalleria Rusticana {355}
Pagliacci {394}
Metropolitan Opera House: 12/14/1951.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 14, 1951


CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA {355}

Santuzza................Zinka Milanov
Turiddu.................Mario Del Monaco
Lola....................Mildred Miller
Alfio...................Frank Valentino
Mamma Lucia.............Thelma Votipka

Conductor...............Alberto Erede


PAGLIACCI {394}

Nedda...................Lucine Amara
Canio...................Kurt Baum
Tonio...................Leonard Warren
Silvio..................Frank Guarrera
Beppe...................Gabor Carelli

Conductor...............Alberto Erede

Review of Raymond Ericson in the January 1, 1952 issue of Musical America

After singing Radames in several performances of Aida, Mario del Monaco turned to his second role this season at the Metropolitan -- Turiddu in "Cavalleria Rusticana." He started off inauspiciously, singing the serenade to Lola very loudly with equal stress on every note so that his voice sounded stiff and inflexible. After his entrance later on he appeared more relaxed and his singing flowed and fell into more natural phrasing. He was at his best in the "Brindisi;" his farewell to Mamma Lucia marked a slight return to his emphatic manner. Aside from these considerations, the tenor's voice was so solid and had so much impact that it was exciting to hear and the role of the Sicilian peasant accommodated most of Mr. Del Monaco's sudden, broad gesturings. It was, on the whole, a vigorous, vivid and vocally effective performance.

No qualifications need be made about Zinka Milanov's singing as Santuzza. Her beautiful voice soared easily to brilliant climaxes and she attacked high tones softly, later swelling them, with seeming effortlessness. In this kind of vocal form, the soprano would make any production of the Mascagni opera worthwhile. Mildred Miller was the Lola and Frank Valentino the Alfio. Thelma Votipka, an admirable Mamma Lucia, was especially touching in her final, stoical moments.

The attendant performance of "Pagliacci" had two singers filling new roles at the opera house. Although she is the Nedda in the official Metropolitan recording of the work, Lucine Amara had not previously played the part onstage and it was also her first major role with the company since she joined it last season. A handsome, dark-haired girl, responding earnestly to the way the part has been directed, the youthful soprano was visually effective, looking ill at ease only in a few moments of supposed languor and seductiveness. Her fresh, pretty voice, with its glints of radiance, sounded fluent and lovely in the "Ballatella" and the duet with Silvio. Her singing had acquired more meaning than it has in the recording she made, but in long stretches it was still empty of emotional color.

Gabor Carelli made an unscheduled first appearance as Beppe, in place of the indisposed Thomas Hayward. Mr. Carelli's voice was well suited to the part and he sang it accurately.
He seemed a little uneasy in handling the stage business, a natural thing under the circumstances. As Canio, Kurt Baum replaced the scheduled Ramon Vinay; Leonard Warren and Frank Guarrera repeated their familiar characterizations of Tonio and Silvio.

Alberto Erede conducted both operas. The orchestra played well for him, but there were many discrepancies in tempo between the musicians in the pit and those onstage.


Photograph of Lucine Amara as Nedda in Pagliacci by Sedge LeBlang.



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