[Met Performance] CID:158610
Aida {539} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/12/1952.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 12, 1952


AIDA {539}
Giuseppe Verdi--Antonio Ghislanzoni

Aida....................Zinka Milanov
Radamès.................Kurt Baum
Amneris.................Margaret Harshaw
Amonasro................Giuseppe Valdengo
Ramfis..................Jerome Hines
King....................Luben Vichey
Messenger...............Paul Franke
Priestess...............Lucine Amara
Dance...................Janet Collins

Conductor...............Fausto Cleva

Review of Raymond Ericson in the Janauary 15, 1952 issue of Musical America

Margaret Harshaw appeared as Amneris and Giuseppe Valdengo as Amonasro for the first time this season in the ninth performance of "Aida."

A voice as opulent as Miss Harshaw's was a pleasure to hear in the role. It was solid in the lower register and rolled out effortlessly all the way up to the high notes. It was not as dark as it might have been, for the soprano coloration Miss Harshaw has been working toward in recent years offered insufficient contrast to Zinka Milanov's voice in the title role. She sang accurately and with excellent diction, and both musically and dramatically her characterization carried considerably more conviction than it had before. Whatever the value of Margaret Webster's direction of the part may be, Miss Harshaw had profited by following it conscientiously and she brought to the Judgment Scene a very effective vehemence. A good deal of the time she colored the text more satisfactorily than in the past; but she also delivered too many crucial phrases as if by rote, weakening an otherwise improved and useful performance.

Mr. Valdengo's Amonasro was resonantly sung as long as his music did not go above D, and with Miss Milanov and Kurt Baum, the Radames, provided a particularly dramatic third act.

The production as a whole was a lively one. Miss Milanov, in excellent voice, sang and acted with-for her-such abandon that some of the tones flew sharp; but it was still a strikingly beautiful performance, roundly cheered by the audience. Mr. Baum's high notes were functioning brilliantly; Jerome Hines was again the Ramfis; Lubomir Vichegonov, the King; Lucine Amara, the Priestess; and Paul Franke, the Messenger. Fausto Cleva conducted.



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