[Met Performance] CID:184720
Simon Boccanegra {33} Metropolitan Opera House: 04/7/1960.

(Debut: Anselmo Colzani

Metropolitan Opera House
April 7, 1960

Giuseppe Verdi--Francesco Maria Piave/Arrigo Boito

Simon Boccanegra........Anselmo Colzani [Debut]
Amelia..................Renata Tebaldi
Gabriele Adorno.........Richard Tucker
Jacopo Fiesco...........Jerome Hines
Paolo Albiani...........Ezio Flagello
Pietro..................Norman Scott
Maid....................Athena Vicos
Captain.................Robert Nagy

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

Review of Francis D. Perkins in the Herald Tribune

Colzani Makes Met Debut Singing Boccanegra Role

Anselmo Colzani, Italian baritone, made a successful Metropolitan Opera debut last night in a role which he had not sung before in public, the name part in Verdi's "Simon Boccanegra." The other new member of a generally stellar cast was Jerome Hines, who had appeared as Fiesco with the company in Philadelphia, but not before this on the Metropolitan's own stage.

Mr. Colzani, who was heard with the San Francisco Opera in 1956, gave a striking illustration of his intelligence and musicianship in the thorough coordination of his singing with that of his colleagues, including Renata Tebaldi as Amelia and Richard Tucker as Gabriele, in the concerted music in the magnificent scene in the Genoese council chamber; the precision and vocal proportion of these ensembles suggested that these artists had sung together since the launching of this production.

His voice gave an impression of medium volume and an appealing quality; the bright lyric timbre of its upper notes was made evident at the start in his share of the prologue. The lower tones, darker while not sombre, did not always have a similar lucidity; his most outspoken singing sometimes seemed slightly tense in tone, but avoided a sense of overt effort, while artistic phrasing was accompanied by a command of dynamic shading and the full use of his span of vocal hues.

From an emotional point of view Mr. Colzani's interpretation was generally discerning and persuasive, despite a few less convincing moments; it took a few minutes in the scene in which he recognizes Amelia's identity before he realized the full expressive value of the situation, and he did not always dominate the Council scene; some of its sterner episodes needed a more pronounced vocal and dramatic impact. But his presentation of the Doge's pleas and his appeals for peace were notable for their communicative sympathy in voice and manner. Simon is one of Verdi's most exacting roles, and Mr. Colzani, judging by this performance, will increase his present promising command of its requirements.

Mr. Hines' well sung Fiesco blended dignity with emotional persuasion. Miss Tebaldi was a memorably vivid Amelia; the delectable quality and musical skill of her singing were unusually impressive, especially in soaring top notes in the council scene ensembles. Mr. Tucker sang and acted Gabriele with corresponding emotional intensity and fervor. Ezio Flagello reappeared as the scheming Paolo, with Norman Scott as Pietro, and Dimitri Mitropoulos' conducting was worthy of the merits of one of the Metropolitan's foremost recent productions.

Photograph of Anselmo Colzani in the title role of Simon Boccanegra by Louis Mélançon/Metropolitan Opera

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