[Met Performance] CID:189010
Così Fan Tutte {42} Metropolitan Opera House: 10/24/1961.

(Debuts: Teresa Stich-Randall, George Shirley, James Lucas
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
October 24, 1961
In English


COSÌ FAN TUTTE {42}
Mozart-Da Ponte

Fiordiligi..............Teresa Stich-Randall [Debut]
Ferrando................George Shirley [Debut]
Dorabella...............Rosalind Elias
Guglielmo...............Theodor Uppman
Despina.................Roberta Peters
Don Alfonso.............Frank Guarrera

Conductor...............Joseph Rosenstock

Director................Carl Ebert
Staged by...............James Lucas [Debut]
Designer................Rolf Gérard

Translation by Ruth and Thomas Martin

Così Fan Tutte received thirteen performances this season.

Review of Robert Sabin in Musical America

Teresa Stich-Randall, who has acquired a formidable reputation in Europe as well as at home, at last reached the stage of the Metropolitan in this performance. I do not think that any singer would choose the role of Fiordiligi for a debut, but Miss Stich-Randall sang it very beautifully indeed and proved herself a true Mozartean in the ensembles (which are always the acid test in his operas).

The voice is curious. At times it seems artificially produced, as if she were carefully imitating the instrumental quality of the great sopranos of the Golden Age on old phonograph recordings. Then again, it seems to emerge unmannered and spontaneous. The high tones are extraordinarily brilliant; the lower range less rounded and full. All sopranos have difficulties with Mozart's impossible arias in this work, which were written in a parodistic spirit, anyway. But many of Miss Stich-Randall's phrases were of memorable silvery luster.

Miss Elias, new to her role at the Metropolitan, was a toothsome Dorabella (she is a firm believer in décolleté), and she sang with voluptuous richness of tone, albeit not as flexibly as her operatic sister.

George Shirley made an unexpected debut as Ferrando, substituting for Charles Anthony, who was indisposed. He confirmed the excellent impression he had made earlier in the season with the New York City Opera. Here is a sensitive musician, an expert actor and an intelligent artist who approaches every assignment with taste and resourceful technique. His voice may not be sensational, but his artistry is.

Miss Peters was a pert Despina, and Mr. Uppman (a new Guglielmo) carried off the role well, although his singing could have been more elegant and finished in execution. Mr. Guarrera who used to have his role, had switched gracefully to that of Don Alfonso bringing out the mischief of the man with great gusto.

Carl Ebert had tactfully kept the staging in the same key and style as the original one of Alfred Lunt, and Joseph Rosenstock conducted the work with proper lightness and fluidity. If not of the quality of the Stiedry-Lunt "Cosi" of a few years back, this was nonetheless a delightful one. We should not have to wait another five years to hear it again.


Photographs of Teresa Stich-Randall and George Shirley in Così fan tutte by Louis Mélançon/Metropolitan Opera.



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