[Met Performance] CID:173060
Il Trovatore {286} Metropolitan Opera House: 11/5/1956.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
November 5, 1956


IL TROVATORE {286}
Giuseppe Verdi--Salvatore Cammarano

Manrico.................Kurt Baum
Leonora.................Zinka Milanov
Count Di Luna...........Leonard Warren
Azucena.................Fedora Barbieri
Ferrando................Giorgio Tozzi
Ines....................Maria Leone
Ruiz....................Charles Anthony
Messenger...............James McCracken
Gypsy...................Calvin Marsh

Conductor...............Max Rudolf

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

Il Trovatore received sixteen performances this season.

Review of Jay S. Harrison in the Herald Tribune

Zinka Milanov's Soprano Heard in 'Il Trovatore'

When Zinka Milanov appears at the Metropolitan Opera you may inevitably count on one of two spontaneous results - the audience will go mad because she is singing well or the audience will go mad because she isn't. True to form, last night's gathering for Verdi's "Il Trovatore" went unrestrainedly berserk, happily for the former reason. And you may take my word for it: when Miss Milanov's soprano is up to snuff there is nothing quite like it anywhere.

The truth of the matter is that the entire performance - the season's first - was full of fire and fury, a condition, I suspect, largely brought about by Miss Milanov's presence. At any rate, every member of the cast bent his larynx double to produce tones and phrases that sent Verdi's vocal bulldozer flashing into the auditorium like sheets of flame. Kurt Baum, though it is a known certainty that he acts as if walking on stilts, unleashed a barrage of pointed, brilliant and colorful sounds the likes of which he has not equaled in many a moon. In consequence, his Manrico was a figure always welcome on stage, for its singing contributed bountifully to the pleasures of the evening.

Then, too, there were Fedora Barbieri and Leonard Warren. In the first instance, any potential ticket buyer is advised that, when Miss Barbieri sings Azucena, he locate himself behind the twentieth row lest he be flattened in his seat by the vehemence of her portrayal As the wild and woebegone Gypsy woman the contralto performed with such urgency and emitted so many booming, subterranean tones that the role took on more of the sardonic and sinister than can be found in a crateful of Macbeth witches. And Mr. Warren's Count di Luna was aglow with the kind of baritone vibrancy that he alone possesses.

In addition, a huge share of the evening's successes may be traced directly to Max Rudolf, who has not previously conducted "Trovatore" at the house.

Oh, yes - Miss Milanov. She was superb. To her fans that is comment enough; and to those who do not know her performance let it serve as a future enticement.



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