[Met Performance] CID:192170
Don Giovanni {227} Metropolitan Opera House: 11/1/1962.

(Debut: Lorin Maazel
Review
)


Metropolitan Opera House
November 1, 1962


DON GIOVANNI {227}
Mozart-Da Ponte

Don Giovanni............Cesare Siepi
Donna Anna..............Eleanor Steber
Don Ottavio.............Nicolai Gedda
Donna Elvira............Gabriella Tucci
Leporello...............Ezio Flagello
Zerlina.................Roberta Peters
Masetto.................Theodor Uppman
Commendatore............Ernst Wiemann

Conductor...............Lorin Maazel [Debut]

Director................Herbert Graf
Stage Director..........Patrick Tavernia
Designer................Eugene Berman
Choreographer...........Zachary Solov

Don Giovanni received ten performances this season.

Review of Miles Kastendieck in the Journal American

'DON GIOVANNI' AT THE MET
Cast Serves Mozart Well

Mozart's "Don Giovanni" made its seasonal appearance at the Metropolitan last night, graced by Gabriella Tucci's first Donna Elvira and freshened by the conducting of Lorin Maazel making his debut.

The presence of 30 out-of-town critics added a special fillip to the occasions.

With such stalwarts as Cesare Siepi in the title role, Eleanor Steber as Donna Anna, Roberta Peters as Zerlina, Nicolai Gedda as Don Ottavio, Ezio Flagella as Leporello, Theodore Uppman as Masetto, and Ernst Wiemann singing his first Commendatore, the performance could hardly stray far from the general excellence this production has enjoyed since 1957.

The roll call is in order because a cast like this challenges any other anywhere. Since most of the singers were in top form, they served Mozart well.

Tough Assignment

Miss Tucci became a most welcome addition, more perhaps for her warmth of voice than for some beautiful phrasing or for her consistently fine upper register. These made her contribution distinctive.

Mr. Maazel had a tough assignment. Gifted young man that he is, he has much to offer. He showed more promise than achievement on this occasion, though he obviously knew the score and the style. He has yet to attain the orchestral refinement to match his sense of style and to impart dramatic inflection to his interpretation of the score. His youthful bounces and crisp procedure had merit. Being a little to anxious, however, he stepped up the pace injudiciously at times and phrased too rigidly at others. The harpsichord sounded almost too clipped. Since these reservations could be attributed to a debut performance, a fair appraisal should come after more performances.


Bravos for Gedda

Mr. Siepi has become a classic portrayal. Bravos greeted Mr. Gedda's vocal and interpretative artistry in the two tenor arias. Miss Peters has made her Zerlina a gem of a performance. Miss Steber encountered some strident and faulty moments in an otherwise well delineated Donna Anna.

Perhaps Mr. Flagella needed to restrain his Leporello a bit in spite of a splendid performance. Mr. Uppman identifies himself completely with Masetto. Mr.Wiemann's commander fitted nicely into the general picture. Herbert Graf might frown on some of Patrick Travernia's liberties in stage direction and some of the lighting of Eugene Berman's wonderful sets. The standards set for this production are so high that maintaining them may have become a strain; nevertheless they are worth sustaining.



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