[Met Performance] CID:189110
Cosė Fan Tutte {43} Matinee ed. Metropolitan Opera House: 11/4/1961.

(Debut: Phyllis Curtin

Metropolitan Opera House
November 4, 1961 Matinee
In English


Fiordiligi..............Phyllis Curtin [Debut]
Ferrando................George Shirley
Dorabella...............Rosalind Elias
Guglielmo...............Theodor Uppman
Despina.................Roberta Peters
Don Alfonso.............Frank Guarrera

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

Review of Ronald Eyer in the New York Herald Tribune

The Metropolitan Opera management let it customers in on the fact that there is a beautiful and imposing American soprano around by the name of Phyllis Curtin when they introduced her for the first time at the Met as Fiordiligi in Mozart's "Cosi fan tutte" Saturday afternoon.

This fact had, of course, been well known for some years in Europe and elsewhere, including that other opera house on 55th Street, where she made her debut seven years ago and created something of a sensation in such things as "Salome" and Carlisle Floyd's "Susannah," in which she was the first to sing the title role. She also created the leading soprano role in Floyd's "Wurthering Heights."

So now Phyllis Curtin is at the Met where she should have been a long time ago. She is not only an outstanding young American singer, she is also an internationally recognized soprano of unusual distinction. Fiordiligi, while she has sung it many times before and can cope brilliantly with all of its terrifying pitfalls, was, perhaps, not the ideal role in which to introduce this backyard beauty.

True enough, it gave her the opportunity to show the gleam and sparkle of her Mozart style, which is as refined as a well-cut jewel, and to come to grips with the trills, runs, ornamentations and wide octave leaps that bristle in her two big first and second act arias, all of them negotiated beautifully and with complete aplomb.

But Miss Curtin is basically a dramatic singer. She rises to her full stature when the music and drama demand the big sweeping line, when emotions is running hot and when vocal technique is merely the servant of a three-dimensional characterization. Lovely as her Mozart performance was, it is to be hoped that she will have the opportunity to show those other facets of her talent before the season is out.

Others in the remarkably fine cast who have been heard in their role before this season were Rosalind Elias (Dorabella), Roberta Peters (Despina), George Shirley (Ferrando); Theodor Uppman (Guglielmo) and Frank Guarrera (Don Alfonso). Joseph Rosenstock conducted.

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