[Met Performance] CID:220010
La Bohème {697} Metropolitan Opera House: 12/30/1969.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 30, 1969


LA BOHÈME {697}
Puccini-Illica/Giacosa

Mimì....................Gabriella Tucci
Rodolfo.................Nicolai Gedda
Musetta.................Clarice Carson
Marcello................Mario Sereni
Schaunard...............Robert Goodloe
Colline.................Giorgio Tozzi
Benoit..................Paul Plishka
Alcindoro...............Fernando Corena
Parpignol...............Hal Roberts
Sergeant................Peter Sliker
Officer.................Lloyd Strang

Conductor...............Fausto Cleva

Director................Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stage Director..........Patrick Tavernia
Designer................Rolf Gérard

La Bohème received thirteen performances this season.

Review of John Ardoin in the Dallas, Texas News

"Bohème' Takes Met To Operatic Heights

With [the first] night behind it, the Metropolitan Opera settled into its season Tuesday evening with a performance of Puccini's "La Bohème." And it occurred to me as I approached the house that I had not heard "Bohème" for over three years.

Suddenly the prospect seemed wonderfully warming. My glow was not dissipated, for I heard a really lovely, out-of-the-ordinary performance, whose high point was the first appearance in America as Rodofo by Swedish tenor Nicolai Gedda.

Gedda played the role in a boyish, even puppy-dog way. It was a personal approach, and it worked. Vocally, he struck me as one of the two or three finest Rudolph's to be heard since the heyday of his countryman, the late Jussi Bjoerling..

He was in soaring voice, taking his first act aria in key and capping it with a full-throated sustained high C of goose-bumpy beauty. Add to this his shining integrity as a musician and diction, which would put many an Italian to shame, and the sum was something special.

Mimi on this occasion was Gabriella Tucci. I could not defend her as a major artist, but she long ago won my sympathy by the honesty of her singing and the touching timbre of her voice. For this"Bohème,"
She was in as fine voice as I have ever heard her, and moved with becoming ease.

A young singer new to the company, Clarice Carson, sang Musetta. I am not sure that the part really suited her (just as it would not have suited Eleanor Steber of whom Miss Carson so strongly reminds me), but at least it did reaffirm the enormous promise which I believe is hers, and the mettle of her voice with its glint of gold.

The other Bohemians - Mario Sereni, Giorgio Tozzi, Robert Goodloe and conductor Fausto Cleva - were all excellent. In good humor, urging his forces on to the fullest dramatic advantage. The only out-of-tune note was struck by the costumes and sets, which should have been accorded an honorable end. They have served well and effectively for a long while, but are now much obviously showing their age and seams.



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