[Met Performance] CID:161680
Carmen {494} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/20/1953.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 20, 1953


CARMEN {494}

Carmen..................Fedora Barbieri
Don José................Richard Tucker
Micaela.................Victoria de los Angeles
Escamillo...............George London
Frasquita...............Lucine Amara
Mercédès................Margaret Roggero
Remendado...............Alessio De Paolis
Dancaïre................George Cehanovsky
Zuniga..................Norman Scott
Moralès.................Clifford Harvuot
Dance...................Janet Collins
Dance...................Loren Hightower

Conductor...............Kurt Adler

Director................Tyrone Guthrie
Designer................Rolf Gérard
Choreographer...........Zachary Solov


Review of R. A. E. in Musical America

Fedora Barbieri's first Carmen at the Metropolitan, in this performance, turned out to be a rather tame affair. The singer was to be admired for her conscientiousness in staying within the framework of Tyrone Guthrie's staging, for her competent vocalizing of the music, and for the sizable tone and generally rich texture of her voice. Having to adjust herself to new stage directions and having to sing the role in French for the first time, as she did, Miss Barbieri handled herself with considerable poise. But she did not have the conviction she brings to a role such as Azucena, and while she often gave the music color there was neither brilliance nor line to her singing.

Another Metropolitan first in this presentation, George London's Escamillo, fared better. He sang the Toreador Song more effortlessly than any baritone around here in recent years, and his last-act passages were beautifully expressive. The voice is, however, rather dark for the incisive French style. He made a very tall Toreador but a dashing one, and he acted with spirit.

The outstanding performance was Victoria de los Angeles' demurely passionate Micaela, intensely and movingly sung. Richard Tucker was in excellent vocal form and made an effective Don Jose. Lucine Amara, Margaret Roggero, Alessio De Paolis, George Cehanovsky, Clifford Harvuot, and Norman Scott were others in the cast. Kurt Adler conducted with vigor.

Before the performance, Mr. London stepped before the curtain asking the audience to rise and sing the National Anthem in honor of the presidential inauguration.



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