[Met Performance] CID:240180
Don Giovanni {343} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/11/1975.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 11, 1975


DON GIOVANNI {343}

Don Giovanni............Roger Soyer [Last performance]
Donna Anna..............Edda Moser
Don Ottavio.............Stuart Burrows
Donna Elvira............Kiri Te Kanawa
Leporello...............Ezio Flagello
Zerlina.................Roberta Peters
Masetto.................Raymond Michalski
Commendatore............Richard T. Gill

Conductor...............Max Rudolf

Review of William Zakariasen in the New York Post

A Stunning Soprano Jolts Met 'Giovanni'

There was an almost completely new cast for Mozart's "Don Giovanni" at the Metropolitan Opera Saturday night. But the big news was the first Met appearance of the stunning young soprano from New Zealand, Kiri Te Kanawa, in the pivotal role of Donna Elvira.

"Donna Elektra" almost would seem a better name, for upon Miss Te Kanawa's first entrance, eyes glaring, chestnut hair tousled, and her pace like that of a caged tigress, it was plain that this was no standard shrinking violet impersonation. This Elvira was a sensual, betrayed woman driven to hysterical dementia. In the hands of a less accomplished artist than Miss Te Kanawa, the dramatic results might have been ludicrous camp, but she is an extraordinary performer who makes every gesture believable. She is also a singer whose attractive voice is more than large enough for the role, and whose technique and musicianship are next to flawless. Applause for her second-act aria "Mi Tradi," was volcanic; no wonder - a better rendition of it today seems inconceivable.

A Crucial Exception

With one crucial exception, the cast (of which only Roberta Peters and Raymond Michalski were holdovers) was on a high level, particularly the intensely musical Edda Moser (Anna) and Stuart Burrows (Ottavio). Richard T. Gill was a sonorous Commendatore and Ezio Flagello a vigorous, well-vocalized Leporello (though he still drops out of character at the oddest times).


The exception was Roger Soyer, who played the Don rather limp of wrist and voice, his delivery of pitch and text shaky indeed! (1,003 conquests in Spain? Hardly likely). None of the singers was helped by the senselessly rushed scramble conductor Max Rudolf made of the score, which he capped with the use of an anachronistic piano (instead of a harpsichord) for the recitatives. It only shows that Viennese training is no guarantee of practiced Mozartian style.



Added Index Entries for Subjects and Names


Back to short citation(s).