[Met Performance] CID:161100
Madama Butterfly {322} Metropolitan Opera House: 11/22/1952.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
November 22, 1952


MADAMA BUTTERFLY {322}
Puccini-Illica/Giacosa

Cio-Cio-San.............Victoria de los Angeles
Pinkerton...............Brian Sullivan
Suzuki..................Margaret Roggero
Sharpless...............Frank Valentino
Goro....................Alessio De Paolis
Bonze...................Osie Hawkins
Yamadori................George Cehanovsky
Kate Pinkerton..........Laura Castellano
Commissioner............Algerd Brazis

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

Director................Désiré Defrère
Set designer............Joseph Urban

Madama Butterfly received nine performances.

Review of Noel Straus in The New York Times

FIRST 'BUTTERFLY' PRESENTED BY 'MET'

Miss de los Angeles Scores Triumph in Leading Role Despite Injury to Foot

Puccini's "Madama, Butterfly" received its first presentation of the season Saturday night at the Metropolitan. Victoria de los Angeles reaped a personal triumph in the title role, despite the fact that in the last part of the second act she twisted her foot and was in pain during the rest of the opera.

Never before at the opera house has this reviewer found the gifted soprano's vocalism or acting so expressive or compelling. Her portrayal and her singing had become, at this latest appearance, remarkable for tenderness and refined approach. The voice had freshness, silky smoothness and purity throughout its entire compass. It was fully under control and used with a fine sense of melodic line.

Miss de los Angeles knew how to achieve delicacy and power in her vocalism. She invested her tones with a wide gamut of hues, often achieving a haunting sensuousness of quality, as in her entrance music and the final duet of the first act.

Few Aware of Mishap

Few in the audience were aware that she had suffered an accident to her foot as she rushed forward with the knife to threaten Gore in the last half of the second scene of Act 2. Dr. Charles H. Namack, one of the company's house physicians, bandaged her foot during the intermission and she was able to finish the final act.

It was believed that the singer would be able to appear at her next scheduled appearance Thursday night.

Mr. Sullivan, as Pinkerton, sang with ardor and vitality, although he often pushed his sonorous tones in a manner that gave them an edge in the upper part of the scale. Miss Roggero made an acceptable Suzuki, but Mr. Valentino's Sharpless was entirely colorless. Mr. De Paolis as Goro and Mr. Cehanovsky, the Yamadori, gave artistic accounts of these lesser roles, while Mr. Hawkins was duly vehement as the Bonze.

Mr. Cleva deserved praise for the subtly tinted, scrupulously detailed treatment of the orchestral score, which did much to make the performance worthwhile. The lighting and the staging, too, were meritorious.



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