[Met Performance] CID:209940
La Traviata {512} Metropolitan Opera House: 03/30/1967.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
March 30, 1967


LA TRAVIATA {512}
Giuseppe Verdi--Francesco Maria Piave

Violetta................Renata Scotto
Alfredo.................Barry Morell
Germont.................Mario Sereni
Flora...................Marcia Baldwin
Gastone.................Charles Anthony
Baron Douphol...........Ron Bottcher
Marquis D'Obigny........Gene Boucher
Dr. Grenvil.............Louis Sgarro
Annina..................Loretta Di Franco
Giuseppe................Lou Marcella
Gardener................Peter Sliker
Dance...................Patricia Heyes
Dance...................Ivan Allen
Dance...................Howard Sayette

Conductor...............Jan Behr

Review of Miles Kastendieck in the World Journal Tribune

Renata Scotto Sings First Violetta at Met

Into the 15th performance of Verdi's "La Traviata" stepped Renata Scotto last night to sing her first Violetta at the Metropolitan. New as her interpretation was here, it marked the 100th time she has sung the role.

Bringing plenty of temperament and sure sense of characterization, Miss Scotto won admiration for a well-seasoned portrayal, vocally quite persuasive at times more ingratiating in the last two acts than in the first two. For all her healthy, exuberant beginning, she found the disillusioned heroine more vocally compatible. This was the performance of a fine trouper rather than an outstanding interpreter of the role.

That "Ah! fors' e lui" fared better than the "Sempre libera" in Act I indicated more successful communication vocally though she handled the contrast of moods well. When at her best, she colored her singing notably, and the natural warmth of her voice showed to advantage. When she put on power, she often sounded reedy, and her top notes became too edgy or spread. Yet taken pianissimo, these notes floated beautifully. Thus her singing varied with the demands made on her voice. Nor was it possible to expect even production.

VARIABLE PERFORMANCE

In general this should have been a seasoned performance of the opera. With a new conductor. however, it proved variable. Jan Behr may have been responsible for the musical preparation, but his first session with the orchestra had its ups and downs, its lunges and its sluggishness. He and Mario Sereni, singing his first Germont of the season, did not always agree on tempos for instance. Even by Act 4 there was little refinement in either the playing or the interpretation. It all sounded like a run-through.

Barry Morrell sang Alfredo usually well in the first and third acts, but the second lapsed badly in comparison. Sereni's sonorous voice redeemed his wooden portrayal of the father. The remainder of the cast including Marcia Baldwin (Flora), Charles Anthony (Gastone), Ron Bottcher (the Baron), Gene Boucher (the Marquis), Louis Sgarro (Dr. Grenvil) and Loretta Di Franco (Annina) fulfilled their assignments adequately.

Alfred Lunt's staging may well account for some of the stodgy aspect of a performance which left an impression of being much too old-fashioned.



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