[Met Performance] CID:186050
Madama Butterfly {405} Metropolitan Opera House: 10/29/1960.

(Debuts: Gabriella Tucci, Gloria Kapilow
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
October 29, 1960


MADAMA BUTTERFLY {405}
Puccini-Illica/Giacosa

Cio-Cio-San.............Gabriella Tucci [Debut]
Pinkerton...............Carlo Bergonzi
Suzuki..................Helen Vanni
Sharpless...............Clifford Harvuot
Goro....................Alessio De Paolis
Bonze...................Osie Hawkins
Yamadori................George Cehanovsky
Dolore..................Gloria Kapilow [Debut]
Kate Pinkerton..........Joan Wall
Commissioner............Roald Reitan
Registrar...............Kurt Kessler

Conductor...............Jean Morel

Production..............Yoshio Aoyama
Designer................Motohiro Nagasaka

Madama Butterfly received eleven performances this season.

Review of Rafael Kammerer in the December 1960 issue of Musical America

Several "firsts" marked the season's initial performance of this Puccini favorite, the most important of which was the New York operatic debut of the young Italian soprano, Gabriella Tucci, in the title role. Jean Morel, conducting the opera for the first time at The Metropolitan, and Helen Vanni, singing her first Suzuki with the company, were the others.

The Roman-born Miss Tucci, who made her American debut with the San Francisco Opera Company just a year ago and who has had eight years of operatic experience behind her in her native country, possesses, besides her personal attractiveness, a well-trained voice of velvety smoothness and excellent quality. She also proved to he an actress of stature whose mobile facial expressions and graceful bodily movements mirrored the emotional inflections of the role as readily as her voice did.

As the hapless Cio-Cio-San, she made the transition from the hopeful bride to the spurned wife and the final denouement with convincing naturalness and without resorting to the usual flutteritngs.

Helen Vanni's Suzuki was another distinguished characterization. By toning down the kow-towing of the role, she introduced a note of refreshing naturalness into the part that was both appealing and sympathy winning. Her acting was matched by her vocal achievement.

Although Mr. Bergonzi was in good vocal trim, he did not look or act the part of an American officer very convincingly. Mr. Harvuot's Sharpless was in every way an exemplary characterization. The other members of the well-chosen cast all turned in admirable performances.

Except for a few places where singers and orchestra were not together, and for a somewhat slow-paced first act. Mr. Morel had his forces under control and showed an evident sympathy for the score.



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