[Met Performance] CID:209030
Don Giovanni {270} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/4/1967.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 4, 1967


DON GIOVANNI {270}

Don Giovanni............Cesare Siepi
Donna Anna..............Joan Sutherland
Don Ottavio.............Alfredo Kraus
Donna Elvira............Pilar Lorengar
Leporello...............Ezio Flagello
Zerlina.................Laurel Hurley
Masetto.................William Walker
Commendatore............Justino Daz

Conductor...............Karl Bhm


Review of Allen Hughes in The New York Times

Joan Sutherland had the finest hours of her New York career to date when she sang Donna Anna in Mozart's "Don Giovanni" at the Metropolitan for the first time. There could be no argument that this was the best "Don Giovanni" of the year (it was also the first); but it was, in some respects, the best sung in years, thanks to the exacting standard set by Miss Sutherland and the competitive response it aroused in a cast well disciplined by Karl Bhm.

For Miss Sutherland it was a chance to demonstrate many things about her artistry hitherto excluded by her Metropolitan round of "Lucia"s, "Sonnambula"s, and "Traviata"s. One, and perhaps foremost among them, is that she has the pride in her profession and the respect for her colleagues to be "a member of the wedding" even if not the bride. Relieved of the burden of bearing the principal part of a prima donna opera, she took a normal, natural place of equal among equals.

If her place was normal and natural for a Donna Anna, it could hardly - with that voice and technique - be an inconspicuous one. It was a model of vocal deportment from first to last, as conscientiously attentive to detail in the recitatives as in the two arias, and a rock of support in the ensembles throughout. Unlike some others who must labor to meet the requirements for "Or sai chi l'onore," she slipped easily into vocal gear it required; and her climaxing "Non mi dir" was a fulfillment of Mozartean purpose rarely, if ever, equaled since the Metropolitan resumed giving "Don Giovanni" regularly in the late twenties.

What distinguishes Miss Sutherland from most of her predecessors in this role is the combination of flexibility with breadth in her vocal vocabulary. That is, she has much more flexibility than the average dramatic soprano who is drawn to the part; and much more dramatic accent than the average florid singer. It is out of such odd and unusual attributes that standards are born, and Miss Sutherland is Donna Joanna for this time. Of further advantage is the restricted range of movement and mobility the role embodies, meaning that she was asked to do nothing, dramatically, that was not well within her competence.



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