[Met Performance] CID:168360
Faust {528} Metropolitan Opera House: 03/22/1955.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
March 22, 1955


FAUST {528}

Faust...................Giuseppe Campora
Marguerite..............Nadine Conner
Méphistophélès..........George London
Valentin................Frank Guarrera
Siebel..................Rosalind Elias
Marthe..................Thelma Votipka
Wagner..................Osie Hawkins
Dance...................not performed

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

Review signed F. M. in Musical America

Giuseppe Campora, singing his first Faust at the Metropolitan, strengthened the impression he had already made as one of the most valuable recent additions to the company's roster. The young tenor had a pleasing appearance and an assured but modest manner; what is more to the point, he possessed a beautiful voice. Although not very big, it was capable of all but the most forceful dramatic accents, and in a predominantly lyric role such as this one it sounded fresh, clear, and - except in low-lying passages - full enough. Mr. Campora's technique was admirable. In the Garden Scene, moreover, he showed sensitivity to the text and a capacity for expressive shadings of tone and inflection that all too rarely go hand in hand with impressive natural equipment. If not an exciting singer, he was an extremely persuasive one.

The tenor had an ideal partner in Nadine Conner, whose light, true, tasteful soprano made the most of Marguerite's lyrical moments. In the small but dramatically exacting part of Siébel Rosalind Elias looked fine and sounded even better, although her acting as yet had not the requisite ease or mobility.

George London was heard as Mephistopheles for the first time this season. He acted with customary resourcefulness and sang with his usual suavity of tone and conscientious technique, but somehow the tall bass-baritone seemed out of sorts. If his Mephisto had a demonic edge, it lacked the supreme savoir-faire demanded of the character, particularly in Rolf Gerard's top hat and tails. Furthermore, Mr. London was not always abetted by the tempos chosen by conductor Kurt Adler, who took
the third-act serenade, for instance, at a pace that removed any possibility of its sounding saucy. Conversely, the music depicting the ride to the Brocken and back, in Act IV, proceeded at such a gallop that the strings were forced to leave quite a few notes behind. Others in the cast were Frank Guarrera, a resonant Valentin; Thelma Votipka; and Osie Hawkins.



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