[Met Performance] CID:167470
Don Carlo {39} Metropolitan Opera House: 12/27/1954.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 27, 1954
In Italian


DON CARLO {39}
Giuseppe Verdi--François Joseph Méry/Camille du Locle

Don Carlo...............Richard Tucker
Elizabeth of Valois.....Delia Rigal
Rodrigo.................Robert Merrill
Princess Eboli..........Blanche Thebom
Philip II...............Jerome Hines
Grand Inquisitor........Paul Schöffler
Celestial Voice.........Shakeh Vartenissian
Friar...................Louis Sgarro
Tebaldo.................Vilma Georgiou
Count of Lerma..........Charles Anthony
Countess of Aremberg....Natalie Kelepovska
Herald..................Gabor Carelli

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

Review signed R. A. E. in Musical America

With this performance, Delia Rigal returned to the role of Elizabeth of Valois, which she had recreated for the revival of "Don Carlo" in 1950 and in which she made her Metropolitan debut. Eleanor Steber was originally listed to sing the part, but became indisposed, and Miss Rigal replaced her at the last moment. Since she had sung it often, Miss Rigal knew her role thoroughly, but the unscheduled nature of her appearance probably accounted for a certain cautiousness in movement and singing that had not been characteristic of her performance in the past. Beyond that, the portrayal was as striking as ever, physically beautiful, royally tragic in demeanor. Miss Rigal has made notable strides in her vocalism, and her singing this night was almost consistently smooth, without any of the tones flying out of focus. Her phrasing had lost none of its spaciousness, and in her great last-act scene she sang with the nobility and emotion that is so stirring.

Jerome Hines sang his first Philip of the season. It is one of his best roles; his characterization has increased steadily in depth of understanding, and his beautiful voice is at its most resplendent in this music. His singing of "Ella giammai m'amo" had a deservedly enthusiastic reception.

Others in the cast were Richard Tucker (Carlo), Robert Merrill (Rodrigo), Paul Schoeffler (Grand Inquisitor), Louis Sgarro (Friar), Blanche Thebom (Eboli), and Villa Georgiou (Theobald). Fritz Stiedry's conducting had its customary thoughtfulness, and he built the scene before the cathedral into a more satisfactory climax than usual.



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