[Met Performance] CID:213370
La Forza del Destino {132} Metropolitan Opera House: 02/1/1968.

(Debut: Sergio Pezzetti
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
February 1, 1968


LA FORZA DEL DESTINO {132}
Giuseppe Verdi--Francesco Maria Piave

Leonora.................Lucine Amara
Don Alvaro..............James McCracken
Don Carlo...............Mario Sereni
Padre Guardiano.........Bonaldo Giaiotti
Preziosilla.............Louise Pearl
Fra Melitone............Sergio Pezzetti [Debut]
Marquis de Calatrava....Louis Sgarro
Curra...................Carlotta Ordassy
Trabuco.................Andrea Velis
Surgeon.................Robert Goodloe

Conductor...............Martin Rich

Review of Irving Kolodin in the Saturday Review

McCracken's Melodie Marathon

James McCracken started singing Verdi at a few minutes after 8 on a recent Thursday evening at the Metropolitan and was still hard at it close to midnight on Friday. He had, in between, what might be considered a normal amount of rest and nourishment, but hardly what an average tenor would consider a respectable interval to space an Alvaro in "La Forza del Destino" and a Radames in "Aida."

The explanation is, of course, that McCracken is in no way, shape, or form an average anything - tenor, especially. He is a formidable hulk of a man who commands the volume and disposes the stamina to make a practicable premise of the possibility that he could replace Franco Corelli as Alvaro on one night and sing Radames the next. It was a fillip to the sizable bite he had undertaken to chew that he had not previously sung Alvaro in New York.

What is unique about McCracken - the dark, voluminous abundance of his voice - is also what was unique about the results, especially as Alvaro. Taking as a norm of McCrackenism the power that has made him the pre-eminent Otello of the decade, it was a symptom of progress toward a more general application of his abilities that he sang Alvaro as well, with as much shading, as he did. As Alvaro, as in everything else he undertakes, McCracken is - to use a sporting analogy - a highly motivated performer, out to win every contest in which he engages. If he can improve upon the kind of singing he did in "0 to the in seno agli angeli" and his part of the duet with Carlo ("Solenne in quest'ora"), he will do immense good not only for himself but also for the Metropolitan's resources. The performance was otherwise lacking in real distinction, with Lucine Amara (as replacement for the announced but absent Ina Delcampo ) performing a creditable but undistinguished Leonora, and Mario Sereni as Carlo. Sergio Pezzetti made a routine debut as Fra Melitone, and Martin Rich conducted without directing.



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