[Met Performance] CID:167800
Don Carlo {40} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/28/1955.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 28, 1955
In Italian


DON CARLO {40}
Giuseppe Verdi--François Joseph Méry/Camille du Locle

Don Carlo...............Richard Tucker
Elizabeth of Valois.....Delia Rigal
Rodrigo.................Ettore Bastianini
Princess Eboli..........Nell Rankin
Philip II...............Cesare Siepi
Grand Inquisitor........Jerome Hines
Celestial Voice.........Shakeh Vartenissian
Friar...................Louis Sgarro
Tebaldo.................Vilma Georgiou
Count of Lerma..........Charles Anthony
Countess of Aremberg....Natalie Kelepovska
Herald..................Gabor Carelli

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


Review of Robert Sabin in Musical America

It is a pleasure to report that virtually all of the artists and the conductor of the season's third performance of Verdi's "Don Carlo" excelled themselves. Kurt Adler, who conducted the work for the first time at the Metropolitan, has never in my experience shown such authority and power of personality. This was no rubberstamp performance, but a well-rounded, original conception. Very wisely, Mr. Adler retained many of the touches of rich humanity with which Fritz Stiedry has imbued the production, but he did not hesitate to alter tempos and dynamic details to suit his own taste. It was a definite step forward for him.

Nell Rankin, in her first appearance at the Metropolitan in the role of the Princess Eboli, also outdid herself. She acted and sang the part with a superb grasp of its fascinating twists of temperament. And when she reached the famous aria "O don fatale," she gave one of the most moving interpretations of it that I have ever heard. One could have heard a pin drop throughout and at the close of the scenes, had it not been for Rudolf Bing's silly rule about no solo curtain calls, she would have received the personal ovation that the audience obviously wanted to give to her.

Ettore Bastianini was heard for the first time at the Metropolitan in the role of Rodrigo. His voice was warm, ample in volume, and emotionally compelling. When he has brought his acting up to a comparable level, he will be a Rodrigo of whom any opera house could boast. Jerome Hines, who made his first appearance of the season in the role of the Grand Inquisitor, not only sang impressively, but added new and better colors to his dramatic conception. The sinister ruthlessness of the old man and his terrifying, austere cruelty were memorably portrayed.

Cesare Siepi was again admirable as Philip II, Delia Rigal covered herself with glory in the final scene (after some shaky vocalism earlier), as she almost invariably does in the role of Queen Elizabeth, and Richard Tucker was in excellent form as Don Carlo. The others in the cast were Louis Sgarro, Vilma Georgiou, Charles Anthony, Gabor Carelli, Shakeh Vartenissian and Natalie Kelepovska. "Don Carlo" is a masterpiece, and it was reassuring to observe a packed house reacting to it with the excitement that this tremendous music deserves.



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