[Met Performance] CID:176720
La Forza del Destino {91} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/8/1958.

(Debut: William Wilderman
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 8, 1958


LA FORZA DEL DESTINO {91}
Giuseppe Verdi--Francesco Maria Piave

Leonora.................Mary Curtis-Verna
Don Alvaro..............Carlo Bergonzi
Don Carlo...............Mario Sereni
Padre Guardiano.........William Wilderman [Debut]
Preziosilla.............BelÚn Amparan
Fra Melitone............Fernando Corena
Marquis de Calatrava....Louis Sgarro
Curra...................Madelaine Chambers
Trabuco.................Paul Franke
Surgeon.................Calvin Marsh

Conductor...............Fritz Stiedry

[William Wilderman's last name was sometimes spelled Wildermann.]

Review of Frank Merkling Jr. in Musical America

There were four changes of cast in this, the season's fourth and broadly shaped performance of "La Forza del Destino." As Padre Guardiano, William Wilderman made his debut at the Metropolitan; and Carlo Bergonzi, as Don Alvaro, and Mario Sereni, as Don Carlo, sang their respective roles for the first time with the company. In addition, Louis Sgarro was appearing for the first time this season in the brief role of the Marquis of Calatrava.

Mr. Wilderman's wide experience in opera served him well for this occasion. He began with a little tonal roughness, and the weight of his voice was somewhat overbalanced by Mary Curtis-Verna, as Leonora, in the scene before the church of the Madonna degli Angeli, but after his initial nervousness was over, he sang with tonal opulence and feeling for the text. His acting was dignified and always in character, though his facial make-up made him look more like Santa Claus than an Abbot.

The evening's vocal honors went to Mr. Bergonzi. His warm and caressing tone was a joy to hear, and his fortissimos, often bringing cheers from the audience, were as exciting as his pianissimos. Mr. Sereni's voice and acting seemed a little pale, though he showed he understood his part's basic format. With a few more performances under his belt, he should be completely convincing. As has been characteristic of her work in the past, Miss Curtis-Verna gave a distinguished and tasteful portrayal, and in the last act she sang some truly ethereal pianissimos.

The remaining cast members were all familiar, including Fernando Corena, as Fra Melitone, and Belen Amparan, as Preziosilla. Fritz Stiedry conducted with his usual authoritative manner.



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