[Met Performance] CID:186700
Madama Butterfly {411} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/2/1961.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 2, 1961


MADAMA BUTTERFLY {411}

Cio-Cio-San.............Renata Tebaldi
Pinkerton...............Eugenio Fernandi
Suzuki..................Margaret Roggero
Sharpless...............Theodor Uppman
Goro....................Norman Kelley
Bonze...................Osie Hawkins
Yamadori................George Cehanovsky
Dolore..................Gloria Kapilow
Kate Pinkerton..........Mildred Allen
Commissioner............Roald Reitan
Registrar...............Kurt Kessler

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

Review of John Ardoin in the February 1961 issue of Musical America

Though Renata Tebaldi had sung the second act of "Madama Butterfly" at the Dec. 14 Gala performance, this was her first appearance in the entire role this season. Miss Tebaldi was at times a vocally exquisite Cio-Cio-San, but it was difficult to sympathize with her dramatically. When she is given a woman of exaggerated passion to enact, such as Tosca, she has few equals. But the innocence and emotional subtleties of Cio-Cio-San did not come through in her interpretation. She was not in best voice, either. Her notes above G were often strident and she rushed a number of phrases to avoid sustaining top notes their full value. Still, there were moments of great beauty such as the letter scene in Act II.

Theodor Uppman sang his first Metropolitan Sharpless at this performance and Norman Kelley his first Metropolitan Goro. Mr. Uppman's voice is not a large one and he seemed to be pushing it. Dramatically he was not the usual stock figure that many singers make of Sharpless. His scenes with Butterfly were quite touching. Mr. Kelley was an appropriately busy and fussy Goro.

Margaret Roggero's first Suzuki of the season lacked some of its accustomed polish, and Eugenio Fernandi's first Pinkerton of the season was marred by his static stage appearance and his off-pitch singing



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