[Met Performance] CID:187770
La Bohème {591} Metropolitan Opera House: 04/10/1961.

(Debut: Dorothy Coulter
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
April 10, 1961


LA BOHÈME {591}

Mimì....................Victoria de los Angeles
Rodolfo.................Dino Formichini
Musetta.................Dorothy Coulter [Debut]
Marcello................Frank Valentino [Last performance]
Schaunard...............George Cehanovsky
Colline.................Giorgio Tozzi
Benoit..................Fernando Corena
Alcindoro...............Norman Kelley [Last performance]
Parpignol...............Frank D'Elia
Sergeant................Lloyd Strang
Officer.................John Frydel

Conductor...............Thomas Schippers, Act I
Conductor...............George Schick, Acts II, III, IV

Review of Robert Sabin in the May 1961 issue of Musical America

Except for the lovely singing and sensitive acting of Victoria de los Angeles, this was a generally humdrum performance. Dorothy Coulter, the young American soprano, who made her debut with the company as Musetta, was musically adequate, but neither her singing nor her acting was at all distinguished.

Even with allowance for debut nerves, her singing of top phrases was strident and unsteady and her voice did not sound as fresh and vital as it should have in so youthful an artist. Her acting was almost amateurish, with exaggerated facial expression and stock movements and gestures. Now that the ordeal of her debut is passed, Miss Coulter may make a better showing during the spring tour.

Mr. Formichini sang his first Rodolfo at the Metropolitan, husbanding his rather slender voice for the big phrases very cannily and revealing a thorough command of the part. He was scarcely a romantic poet or an ardent lover, but he did sense the exquisite quality of Miss de los Angeles' singing of the more delicate and intimate passages and match it with some fine lyricism of his own.

Mr. Valentino, Mr. Cehanovsky and Mr. Tozzi were singing their roles for the first time this season. I am sorry to report that Mr. Cehanovsky was all but inaudible much of the time and that Mr. Valentino sang so foggily that one almost wished that he were. As for Mr. Tozzi, he turned in his customary admirable performance. If not perfectly focused tonally, the "Vecchia zimarra" was tenderly done, and his voice was a pillar of strength in the rather decrepit quartet of Bohemians.

Thomas Schippers suffered an acute attack of indigestion during Act I (which did not surprise me), and George Schick took over for the remaining three acts in efficient fashion.



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