[Met Performance] CID:164570
Lucia di Lammermoor {261} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/13/1954.

(Debuts: Gisella Weidner, Ruth Morley
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 13, 1954


LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR {261}
Donizetti-Cammarano

Lucia...................Lily Pons
Edgardo.................Jan Peerce
Enrico..................Ettore Bastianini
Raimondo................Norman Scott
Normanno................James McCracken
Alisa...................Thelma Votipka
Arturo..................Thomas Hayward
Dance...................Gisella Weidner [Debut]
Dance...................Karl Klauser

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

Director................Désiré Defrère
Set designer............Richard Rychtarik
Costume designer........Richard Rychtarik
Costume designer........Ruth Morley [Debut]
Choreographer...........Zachary Solov

Lucia di Lammermoor received twelve performances this season.

[Morley designed costumes only for the ballet. Pons' costumes were designed by Valentina.]

Review of Ronald Eyer in Musical America

Time seemed to stand still and even turn back some years as Lily Pons, still the reigning coloratura of the day, came upon the stage to sing her 100th performance as Lucia di Lammermoor, in her first appearance with the company this season and the first performance of the opera at the Metropolitan in two years. It was as Donizetti's cheerless heroine that Miss Pons made her memorable debut on the same stage 23 years ago, and the role and the singer have been inextricably identified with each other ever since in this country and throughout the world. There seemed to be some disagreement, however, on the number of performances Miss Pons actually has sung. She herself thinks it must be many more than a hundred. "After all, I make my career with Lucia," she said to an interviewer. But maybe it only seems that since a hundred performances of an arduous undertaking as Lucia could well feel like a million to a conscientious singer.

In any case, Miss Pons was as glamorous and beautiful as ever in hundredth-or-more performance, and there were a freshness and spontaneity in her approach that defied a traditional characterization of "mellowness" as applied to the thrice-familiar interpretations of veteran performers. The terrifying vocal difficulties of the Mad Scene were negotiated with assurance-even the two high Es which are the acme of coloratura prowess.

A newcomer to the cast, who made strongly favorable impression, was Ettore Bastianini as Lord Ashton. Gifted with a fine voice and admirable presence, Mr. Bastianini promises to develop into a singing actor of the first rank. James McCracken did well with his first Normanno.

Others in the cast were Jan Peerce, always a fine Edgardo, Thelma Votipka, Norman Scott and Thomas Hayward. Fausto Cleva conducted.



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