[Met Performance] CID:161610
Così Fan Tutte {22} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/13/1953.


Metropolitan Opera House
January 13, 1953
In English

Mozart-Da Ponte

Fiordiligi..............Eleanor Steber
Ferrando................Richard Tucker
Dorabella...............Blanche Thebom
Guglielmo...............Frank Guarrera
Despina.................Roberta Peters
Don Alfonso.............John Brownlee

Conductor...............Fritz Stiedry

Production..............Alfred Lunt
Designer................Rolf Gérard

Così Fan Tutte received nine performances this season.

Translation by Ruth and Thomas Martin

Review of Robert Sabin in Musical America

When Mozart's "Cosi fan tutte" had its first performance of the season on Jan. 13, Alfred Lunt, who had staged the work for the Metropolitan's new production in English last season, was not present to light the candles and introduce the performance. But although Mr. Lunt was in England, the stamp of his training was still evident, and fortunately the cast was unchanged except for one singer. Roberta Peters replaced Patrice Munsel as Despina, taking the role for the first time at the Metropolitan. Eleanor Steber and Blanche Thebom were again heard as Fiordiligi and Dorabella, Richard Tucker and Frank Guarrera again took the roles of Ferrando and Guglielmo, and John Brownlee appeared once more as Don Alfonso. Fritz Stiedry, the conductor of the original production, was present to keep the musical aspect of the performance in the same framework. "Cosi fan tutte" is so elaborate and formalized a production that it is highly important that the cast should be kept intact if possible. Otherwise a rigorous training in the same style for the new singers would be necessary, if the performance were not to lose much of its grace and point.

Miss Peters acted and sang the role of Despina with pert charm. Like Miss Munsel, she treated the part too much in soubrette style to do full justice to Mozart's music, but she performed it brightly and effectively. There were a few changes in what might be called the choreography of the stage business, but in general she followed the pattern set in the original production very accurately. All of the artists tended to overstress the comedy this year, which may have been owing to the fact that Mr. Lunt was not present to tone them down. They kept the humor bubbling, and they were aided therein by Mr. Stiedry's prevailingly brisker tempos this year. He did not hasten such lovely episodes as the "zephyr" trio, but where it was appropriate, he made the music dance along at a rapid pace. "Cosi fan tutte" proved even more of a hit than the Metropolitan had anticipated last year, and the enthusiasm of the audience this performance boded well for its fortunes this season.

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