[Met Performance] CID:218160
Peter Grimes {24} Metropolitan Opera House: 04/14/1969.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
April 14, 1969


PETER GRIMES {24}

Peter Grimes............Robert Nagy
Ellen Orford............Phyllis Curtin
Captain Balstrode.......Geraint Evans
Mrs. Sedley.............Jean Madeira
Auntie..................Lili Chookasian
Niece...................Mary Ellen Pracht
Niece...................Lilian Sukis
Hobson..................Paul Plishka
Swallow.................Raymond Michalski
Bob Boles...............Paul Franke
Rev. Horace Adams.......Robert Schmorr
Ned Keene...............Gene Boucher
Lawyer..................William Mellow
Fisherwoman.............Gail Leonard
Fisherman...............Edward Ghazal
John....................John Allan

Conductor...............Colin Davis

Review of Robert T. Jones in The New York Times

ROBERT NAGY TAKES PETER GRIMES ROLE

Certain operatic roles have a kind of built-in success: They require such specialized talents that if a singer can do one of them at all, he or she is practically fail-proof. Salome is one of those roles. Otello is another, and Peter Grimes is yet another. Last night at the Metropolitan Opera, Robert Nagy was propelled into the title role of Britten's "Peter Grimes" by the sudden illness of Jon Vickers, who has had the part to himself in the Met's new production.

Mr. Nagy had no stage rehearsal and no orchestral rehearsal. He behaved as if he had been given many. The voice is very big and very bright. Maybe too bright, for it does blare a bit in the upper register. But it penetrates the loudest orchestra, the sound has an exciting ping to it, and Mr. Nagy obviously had the music well worked into his voice. Dramatically, Mr. Nagy knows where he is going and most of his performance is effective. He must rid himself of stock operatic gestures - this is not a hands-outstretched-to-the-gallery opera - and stop worrying about being too rough with his colleagues. More rehearsal will take care of the latter; more study should cure the former.

The rest of the production is slipping. As Mrs. Sedley, Jean Madeira camps it up like the Wicked Witch of the West; Lili Chookasian behaves like the Cook in "Alice" and the other character parts resemble a deteriorating road company of "Oliver!" And it's such a good opera too.



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