[Met Performance] CID:171070
Il Trovatore {281} Metropolitan Opera House: 02/29/1956.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
February 29, 1956


IL TROVATORE {281}
Giuseppe Verdi--Salvatore Cammarano

Manrico.................Kurt Baum
Leonora.................Zinka Milanov
Count Di Luna...........Leonard Warren
Azucena.................Jean Madeira
Ferrando................Norman Scott
Ines....................Maria Leone
Ruiz....................Charles Anthony
Messenger...............James McCracken
Gypsy...................Calvin Marsh

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

Director................Désiré Defrère
Set designer............Harry Horner
Costume designer........Mary Percy Schenck

Il Trovatore received five performances this season.

Review of Louis Biancolli in the World-Telegram and Sun

Kurt Baum Pinch-Hits in 'Trovatore'

The virus epidemic seems to be concentrating on the tenor wing of the Metropolitan
these days.

Yesterday it was Gino Penno who was stricken, the result being that Kurt Baum was called in on short notice to replace the returning Italian tenor in the season's first "Il Trovatore" last night.

Mr. Baum, who seems to have become chief pinch-hitter of the Met's male aviary, was in unusually good voice last night, which was all the more creditable considering that he was brought in on an emergency call.

If I have fluctuated in my judgment of this earnest artist, the fluctuation was in his voice, too. But there has always been a competent and dependable batting average about his singing. Last night it was considerably higher.

The tones had a solid ring. the phrasing was smooth, and the whole vocal and dramatic conception of Manrico had a great deal more impetus than he generally gives his roles. A "Bravo" for Baum!

It was a generally vital performance, this return of "Il Trovatore" after skipping a season - and what a treat to renew contact with this lavish outpouring of what have become household melodies!

As Leonora, Zinka Milanov seemed happy to be back in one of her most grateful parts, singing with large, warm voice and joining the turbulent cauldron of conflict as if to the manner born.

Leonard Warren gave the Count Di Luna the benefit of strong tone and stronger emotions, and both the Azucena of Jean Madeira and the Ferrando of Norman Scott added to the over-all attraction of the performance.

Fausto Cleva conducted as if he too were glad to have "Il Trovatore" back, while Kurt Adler's choristers sang as if they had been waiting hungrily for two seasons to get at "The Anvil Chorus" again.



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