[Met Performance] CID:170400
Un Ballo in Maschera {63} Metropolitan Opera House: 12/26/1955.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 26, 1955


UN BALLO IN MASCHERA {63}
Giuseppe Verdi--Antonio Somma

Amelia..................Herva Nelli
Riccardo................Jan Peerce
Renato..................Leonard Warren
Ulrica..................Marian Anderson
Oscar...................Laurel Hurley
Samuel..................Giorgio Tozzi
Tom.....................Norman Scott
Silvano.................Calvin Marsh
Judge...................James McCracken
Servant.................Charles Anthony

Conductor...............Dimitri Mitropoulos


Review of R. A. E. in Musical America

Dec. 26. -- This was a first-rate performance of the Verdi opera, given vigorous and flamboyant dramatic impetus by the conductor, Dimitri Mitropoulos, and excellently sung, with a few negligible exceptions, by all ten members of the cast. Perhaps the performance was sparked by the return of Leonard Warren to the production, as Renato. The baritone's voice seems to have grown even more beautiful in recent seasons; it is completely solid, round, and ringing in tone, and Mr. Warren can command with the utmost ease both the smooth, legato line and the biting, powerhouse phrases that turn up in his music. And his characterization of the role was not the less forceful for its restraint.

Laurel Hurley was heard again as Oscar, the part that served as her debut last season. The liquid brightness of her voice, her musical accuracy, and the flashing pertness of her movement made her an ideal interpreter of one of the most charming characters Verdi ever created.

As Amelia, Herva Nelli has rarely sung better; the voice was at its luscious best and her management of the large-scale arias had gained breadth and continuity. Also in good voice were Jan Peerce, as Riccardo, and Marian Anderson, as Ulrica. The tenor's suave, stylish singing lost little of its impact from an occasional thinness in the high tones, and Miss Anderson's tones were firmer than usual -wonderfully dark in the lower register and growing increasingly brilliant as they went up the scale.

The cast was completed by a quintet of American male singers who handled their roles, however small, with remarkable intelligence, style, and clarity of diction: Calvin Marsh, as Silvano; Georgio Tozzi, as Samuel; Norman Scott, as Tom; James McCracken, as the Judge; and Charles Anthony, as Amelia's Servant.



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