[Met Performance] CID:197950
Manon {199} Metropolitan Theater, Boston, Massachusetts: 04/17/1964.

(Review)


Boston, Massachusetts
April 17, 1964


MANON {199}

Manon...................Anna Moffo
Des Grieux..............Nicolai Gedda
Lescaut.................Frank Guarrera
Count des Grieux........Giorgio Tozzi
Guillot.................Mariano Caruso
Brétigny................William Walker
Poussette...............Jeanette Scovotti
Javotte.................Marcia Baldwin
Rosette.................Joann Grillo
Innkeeper...............Robert Patterson
Guard...................Charles Kuestner
Guard...................Carlo Tomanelli
Maid....................Athena Vicos
Sergeant................William Stanz
Dance...................Craig Crosson
Dance...................Carole Kroon
Dance...................Hans Meister
Dance...................Ali Pourfarrokh

Conductor...............Thomas Schippers

Review of Elinor Hughes in the Boston Herald

'Manon' Pleasant Both to See and Hear

The third of the new productions brought to Boston this year by Metropolitan Opera Company, Massenet's "Manon" opened last night at the Music Hall and proved as pleasant to behold as it was satisfactory to hear.

Appealing Opera

It is possible that our present opera singers are not as stupendous as those heard by our grandparents, but Anna Moffo as Manon, Nicolai Gedda as Des Grieux and Giorgio Toni as his father are a trio of such excellence that they would be hard to equal, And how agreeable it is that a lovely young girl is performed by a lovely young girl, a romantic young man by a handsome tenor and a distinguished nobleman by a performer who acts the part as well as he sings it.

"Manon" deserves its durability, for it is lavishly melodious, romantic and sad, as well as gay and funny and with moments of strong feeling. The only thing I have against it is that it runs four hours, and deadlines are not to be trifled with, so I must take on faith the two final scenes of last night's performance and report on the five preceding.

Anna Moffo delighted the audience from her first appearance as the wondering girl arriving at the inn at Amiens en route to the convent in Paris where her gaiety will be quenched forever Her meeting with Des Grieux was charmingly handled, for Mr. Gedda is that rarity, a tenor who combines an attractive presence and a warm and ringing voice, and in the following scene in Paris their ardor was as warm as it was beautifully sung. But the most memorable sequence in opera came when Manon wooed Des Grieux away from his religious vows and made him her captive once again.

Here the passion and the music were wedded and the singers surpassed themselves. Indeed, how could anyone resist so entrancing a woman as Miss Moffo's Manon, as she pleaded with her wavering lover to look at her once more and see whether she was not still the same? Indeed she was, only better, for while Miss Moffo can play the ardent mistress to perfection, it isn't always easy to accept her as the giddy and greedy flirt who could betray true love for gold.

Fine Production

The settings by Ita Maximowna are admirably in the spirit of the opera, French and stylish; not heavy nor gaudy, but delightful to see and an admirable background for the singers; while the costumes are becoming and in admirable taste. The stage direction had imagination and agreeable style, with attention paid to the small parts, as well as those of the stars, and even the Cours la Reine ballet, choreographed by Alicia Markova, came off very nicely indeed.

The new "Manon" to my way of thinking, is an admirable addition to the Metropolitan repertoire.



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