[Met Performance] CID:186180
Nabucco {3} Metropolitan Opera House: 11/11/1960.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
November 11, 1960

NABUCCO {3}
Giuseppe Verdi--Temistocle Solera

Nabucco.................Cornell MacNeil
Abigaille...............Leonie Rysanek
Ismaele.................Eugenio Fernandi
Fenena..................Rosalind Elias
Zaccaria................Giorgio Tozzi
Anna....................Carlotta Ordassy
High Priest.............Bonaldo Giaiotti
Abdallo.................Paul Franke

Conductor...............Thomas Schippers

Review of Jay S. Harrison in the New York Herald Tribune

Tozzi Sings in 'Nabucco' At Metropolitan

At the repeat performance of Verdi's "Nabucco" last night at the Metropolitan, Giorgio Tozzi sang the role of Zaccaria, for the first time at the house. The remainder of the cast, which was an exact duplicate of that which opened the company's season on October 24th, included Leonie Rysanek as Abigaille, Cornell MacNeil as Nabucco, Rosalind Elias as Fenena and Eugenio Fernandi as Ismaele. Thomas Schippers was again the conductor.

Mr. Tozzi was, as ever, vastly impressive, a fact which should surprise no one. The truth is that the basso has developed in a very short time into one of the leading artists on the operatic stage, and his performance on this occasion contributed heavily to the reputation he has built in the past few years. His singing, however, provided something of a paradox for, while it was exceedingly elegant, it was almost too lovely to reflect the anguish of the character he was portraying.

For example, his first act air, "Sperate, o figli" is in the nature of an exhortation, yet the tones he produced were so limpid and rich and caressing that they rather failed to convey the implied meaning of the text. And when, in the third act, he was called upon to turn reproachful and stern, he did it through singing which, though dramatic, still retained so warm a glow that it really constituted no rebuke at all. And this, of course, poses a problem: Should an opera artist concern himself with the production of beautiful sounds to the point that they all but collide the intentions of the plot, or should he be guided first and foremost by theatrical considerations and adapt his voice accordingly? Myself, I take no irreversible stand on the matter. I know only that last night I was wholly captivated by Mr. Tozzi's singing, even though I have some reservations on the dramatic uses to which it was put.



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