[Met Performance] CID:186620
La Bohème {585} Metropolitan Opera House: 12/24/1960.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 24, 1960


LA BOHÈME {585}

Mimì....................Renata Tebaldi
Rodolfo.................Eugenio Fernandi
Musetta.................Laurel Hurley
Marcello................Clifford Harvuot
Schaunard...............Roald Reitan
Colline.................Nicola Moscona
Benoit..................Gerhard Pechner
Alcindoro...............Norman Kelley
Parpignol...............Hal Roberts
Sergeant................Lloyd Strang
Officer.................John Frydel

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

Review of Martin Bernheimer in the New York Herald Tribune

Renata Tebaldi Sings Mimi in 'La Bohème' at the Met

Renata Tebaldi's first Mimi of the season in "La Bohème" Saturday night supplied the Metropolitan Opera with its Christmas Eve drawing card. News was also made, however, by the last minute substitution of Clifford Harvout for the indisposed Lorenzo Testi as Marcello. Although Mr. Harvout had impersonated the painter before in special student matinees, this was his official debut in the part.

Miss Tebaldi was in relatively good voice, and there is no question that she pleased her many admirers. The tender Puccini heroine suits her temperament, and the quieter moments such as the Act Three farewell were exquisite. Although her histrionic technique is of the stand-and-smile variety, and although she is not exactly frail either in voice or in appearance, Miss Tebaldi was a touching and dignified Mimi.

The soprano has been having some trouble with top tones lately. Most of Mimi lies comfortably for her, but the role does pose a problem or two. The exposed High C at the end of Act One, for instance, was avoided by a downward transposition of a half-tone, and - even at that - Miss Tebaldi attacked it from below.

Like most other current Metropolitan Rodolfos, Eugenio Fernandi also sang his aria lower than written. His vocalism, however, was as beautiful as his acting was awkward. This is considerable. Mr. Harvout indicated that the promotion from his customary "Bohème" assignment, the smaller role of Schaunard, was deserved. Otherwise, the familiar cast included Nicola Moscona's authoritative Colline and Laurel Hurley, Roald Reitan, Gerhard Pechner, and Norman Kelley in the remaining important roles. Thomas Schippers again conducted.



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