[Met Performance] CID:204230
The Queen of Spades {8} Metropolitan Opera House: 10/21/1965.

(Debut: Felicia Weathers
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
October 21, 1965
In English


THE QUEEN OF SPADES {8}

Lisa....................Felicia Weathers [Debut]
Gherman.................Jon Vickers
Countess................Regina Resnik
Prince Yeletsky.........William Walker
Count Tomsky............John Reardon
Chekalinsky.............Paul Franke
Surin...................Lorenzo Alvary
Paulina.................Rosalind Elias
Masha...................Carlotta Ordassy
Master of Ceremonies....Gene Boucher
Chloť...................Loretta Di Franco
Chaplitsky..............Gabor Carelli
Narumov.................Louis Sgarro
Dance...................Naomi Marritt
Dance...................Ivan Allen

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

Review of Irving Kolodin in the November 6, 1965 issue of the Saturday Review

It would be unreasonable to demand of the Metropolitan that it produce a fine Tatiana and Lisa in the same person (and an English-speaking one as well). [Referencing a Carnegie Hall concert of Galina Vishnevskaya]. However, as it is only giving "Pique Dame" this season, a real embodiment for the one part would be acceptable. At the season's third performance, which showed an expected amount of settling down from the uncertainties of the premiere (reported upon in the October 16 issue of SR), Teresa Stratas, as Lisa, was in appreciably better command of the vocal problem than she had been earlier. But she remains at a disadvantage in being forced to carry the burden of so heavy a part on her small frame and slender shoulders, and the plausibility of the drama suffers accordingly. The lyricism that Jon Vickers has striven to develop for Gherman's music is evidence of this artist's responsible attitude toward his work; more of the same, in his dramatic characterization, would earn additional thanks

However, the whole project took a turn in a less favorable direction when Stratas, with other roles pending, was relieved for the fourth performance by young Felicia Weathers. The rationale of presenting this young Negro singer at her Metropolitan debut in a part that is a challenge to the most mature artist can only be termed as irrational. Basically, the Weathers voice is a good one, and for one of her small frame - it appeared that the costumes worn by Stratas had to be taken in - altogether unusual. There are, possibly, some roles she could meet on equal terms-Lauretta in "Gianni Schicchi," perhaps, or Liu in "Turandot" - but to put her forward in a part of this magnitude is to disserve the performer as well as the part. Loretta Di Franco, a former member of the chorus who was an Auditions winner last spring, made her debut in the suitably small role of ChloŽ (in the second act pastorale). Hers is a lovely pure soprano sound and she uses it well.



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