[Met Performance] CID:159400
Il Trovatore {267} Lyric Theatre, Baltimore, Maryland: 03/26/1952.


Baltimore, Maryland
March 26, 1952

Giuseppe Verdi--Salvatore Cammarano

Manrico.................Kurt Baum
Leonora.................Zinka Milanov
Count Di Luna...........Leonard Warren
Azucena.................Fedora Barbieri
Ferrando................Nicola Moscona
Ines....................Lucine Amara
Ruiz....................Thomas Hayward
Messenger...............Paul Franke
Gypsy...................Carlo Tomanelli

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

Review of Weldon Wallace in the Baltimore Sun

'Il Trovatore' Reviewed

By modern theatrical standards, "Il Trovatore" is not the most dramatically convincing opera in the repertoire. Nor did Verdi endow it with his liveliest music.
Moreover, the production displayed by the Metropolitan Opera company at the Lyric Theater last night has not been subjected to the Rudolf Bing treatment. It emerges into the present like a curious ghost from the stage of a show-boat.

Demand On Audience

The "acting" consisted of lurching, clutching, waving and plunging. The settings did not help to lessen the burden. Seen through an overbearing gloom, they loomed threateningly over the singers. We can only hope that Mr. Bing will give "Il Trovatore" his attention, for this production is heavy going. It was a performance that demanded willingness on the part of the audience to overlook everything for the sake of the singing.

As for the vocalism, top honors for consistency went to Fedora Barbieri. Miss Barbieri, a newcomer to Baltimore who portrayed the gypsy Azucena, has a big, open voice. It is limited in color and powers of expression, but she can sing out, and she did so last night.

Zinka Milanov is Leonora

Her makeup left something to be desired. This not very oldish-looking matron, with a palm reader's necklace for ornament, did not conjure up a very convincing picture of the vengeful gypsy. Zinka Milanov was a variable Leonora. She could produce smooth tones and put them together in smooth phrases, but the voice lost something in quality in florid work and on some high notes. She was at her best in the sustained "D'amor sull'ali rose" at the [start] of Act IV.

The Manrico of this occasion, Kurt Baum, is new to Baltimore but has been around the Met for years, singing leading tenor roles. He is no doubt dependable in routine, but the voice has little in the way of freedom or vibrancy.

Other Members Of Cast

Leonard Warren, as Count di Luna, seemed to be singing over a cold, but like Miss Milanov, this fine baritone did excellent work in Act IV. Other members of the cast were as follows: Lucine Amara (Inez), Nicola Moscona (Ferrando), Thomas Hayward (Ruiz), and Carlo Tomanelli and Paul Franke.

Special praise is deserved by the conductor, Alberto Erede, who made his Baltimore debut on this occasion. Mr. Erede did a superior job, getting excellent effects from the orchestra and keeping the performance well in hand.

The chorus, lacking adequate direction, moved poorly but sang well.

Unfortunately the merits of this presentation were not sufficient to make it an exhilarating evening. Since we have the Metropolitan for only two performances annually, and since these performances are so eagerly sought after by a public avid for opera, we feel that Baltimore deserves something more inspiring than the production seen last night.

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