[Met Performance] CID:227460
Luisa Miller {27} Metropolitan Opera House: 11/4/1971.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
November 4, 1971


LUISA MILLER {27}
Giuseppe Verdi--Salvadore Cammarano

Luisa...................Adriana Maliponte
Rodolfo.................Plácido Domingo
Miller..................Mario Sereni
Count Walter............Bonaldo Giaiotti
Wurm....................Paul Plishka
Federica................Jean Kraft
Laura...................Ivanka Myhal
Peasant.................Lou Marcella

Conductor...............James Levine

Review Alan Blythe, visiting Associate Editor Opera (UK)

My other Metropolitan experience was disappointing. I was much looking forward to the "Luisa Miller" revival (November 4) and especially to Placido Domingo's first Rodolfo. He sang with his usual sense of Verdian style, but in the opera house (or this one at least) the voice sounded surprisingly small and monochrome, and he seemed to be using it rather recklessly. Perhaps he has simply been singing too much lately. On the other hand, Adriana Maliponte's Luisa was a pleasant surprise. Here is an artist who knows how to give a phrase individuality and endow it with true pathos. The way she led the ensemble in the third scene of Act I and began "Ah! l'ultima preghiera" in Act 3 showed that she is a cut above most of her Italian colleagues. Indeed, throughout hers was the one vocal performance that rose above traditional routine.

Cornell MacNeil was replaced as Miller at short notice by Mario Sereni, who sang a monotonous forte and often lost his way. Bonaldo Giaiotti was a powerful but unsubtle Count Walter. Paul Plishka, the Wurm, at least attempted some characterization; his is a talent worth watching. In the pit James Levine (the present darling of the audiences) conducted with plenty of fire and a good deal of feeling for the right style. The six-year-old production is ludicrously over-blown and realistic - like some left-over from the 1890s. "Luisa Miller," which I place rather lower in the Verdi canon than many, calls for delicate and sympathetic handling to thrive; it is not just another repertory piece to be thrown on without thought. At this revival it was treated with proper respect only by the conductor and Miss Maliponte, who would be a welcome visitor in London.



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