[Met Performance] CID:164430
Die Fledermaus {56} Metropolitan Opera House: 12/31/1953.

(Debut: Alicia Markova
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 31, 1953
In English


DIE FLEDERMAUS {56}
Joh. Strauss Jr.-Haffner/R. Genée

Rosalinde...............Eleanor Steber
Eisenstein..............Charles Kullman
Adele...................Roberta Peters
Alfred..................Thomas Hayward
Prince Orlofsky.........Jarmila Novotna
Dr. Falke...............John Brownlee
Dr. Blind...............Paul Franke
Frank...................Clifford Harvuot
Ida.....................Suzanne Ames
Frosch..................Jack Mann
Famous Dancer...........Alicia Markova [Debut]
Dance...................Alicia Markova
Dance...................Roland Vazquez

Conductor...............Tibor Kozma

Designer................Rolf Gérard
Choreographer...........Zachary Solov
Director................Garson Kanin

Translation by Dietz, Kanin

Die Fledermaus received five performances this season.
[Alicia Markova appeared in a special divertissement, devised by Zachary Solov, at Prince Orlofsky's Ball.]

Review of Robert Sabin in Musical America


The season's first performance of "Fledermaus," on New Year's Eve, was graced by the presence of Alicia Markova, one of the leading ballerinas of our time, in her first appearance with company. Other great dancers, Pavlova and Mordkin among them, appeared with the Metropolitan under its own auspices in special ballets, but this was the first time a dancer of Miss Markova's international rank and reputation had taken part in one of the regular Metropolitan productions of opera. Zachary Solov had refashioned the choreography of the Acceleration Waltz in Act II, in order to provide proper framework for the illustrious artist, who was ably partnered by Roland Vasquez.

Nothing was more impressive than Miss Markova's entrance, in which she radiated a charm, elegance and almost mischievous humor that boded well for the dancing to follow. Mr. Solov had put the emphasis upon her finest and strongest qualities in his choreography. She was feathery in the lifts, exquisite in line and wonderfully effortless in her beats. Her arms were always liquid and graceful, her head and neck beautifully poised. Miss Markova danced more cautiously, with greater emphasis upon lyricism, than she used to, but she was a model of style and sensitivity. Needless to say, the Acceleration Waltz really looked like something and the corps, dancing discreetly in the background, did not seem as mediocre as usual. Miss Markova's advent was a brilliant success and she received a long ovation.

There were other gala aspects of performance. Eleanor Steber, in her first appearance in the role of Rosalinda, acquitted herself charmingly. She looked handsome and she sang with brilliance and power. Roberta Peters was, perhaps, the chief heroine of the evening. She had been called in at 24 hours' notice to replace Virginia MacWatters in the role of Adele. Miss MacWatters had been asked to substitute for Patrice Munsel. The indisposition of both artists threw the burden suddenly upon Miss Peters. Although she was singing the role for the first time, she seemed completely at home in it. Apart from an occasional hardness of quality in the upper range, her singing was thoroughly delightful and she lost none of the broad comedy of the part.

The others in the generally excellent cast were Charles Kullman, as Eisenstein; Suzanne Ames, as Ida; Thomas Hayward, as Alfred; Jarnila Novotna, as Orlofsky; John Brownlee as Falke; Cliford Harvout, as Frank; Paul Franke as Blind; and Jack Mann, as Frosch. Mr. Hayward's voice was especially fresh and vital; Miss Novotna made the incredible Russian prince deliciously incredible. Tibor Kozma conducted with both zest and authority.




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