[Met Performance] CID:240370
Tosca {580} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/29/1975.


Metropolitan Opera House
January 29, 1975

TOSCA {580}

Tosca...................Teresa Zylis-Gara
Cavaradossi.............Carlo Bergonzi
Scarpia.................Gabriel Bacquier
Sacristan...............Fernando Corena
Spoletta................Charles Anthony
Angelotti...............Louis Sgarro
Sciarrone...............Russell Christopher
Shepherd................Paul Offenkrantz
Jailer..................Arthur Thompson

Conductor...............Alberto Erede

Review of Harriet Johnson in the New York Post

A Rough Time for Bergonzi

Cavaradossi has a rough time of it in "Tosca," but last night for Carlo Bergonzi at the Metropolitan Opera it was even rougher.

Returning to the Met for the first time in three years the Italian tenor knew he would be theatrically tortured and shot, but he didn't count on actually being stung by an attack of tracheitis, i.e. inflammation of the trachea.

Bergonzi not only has one of the most beautiful voices among tenors singing today, he also has, with the possible exception of Placido Domingo, the best vocal technique, and certainly the most vocal knowhow in the sense that he realizes what rôles suit him best and how those roles should be controlled.

So if anyone was to come down with tracheitis, let it be Bergonzi. He started off with the singing finesse for which he is celebrated, but the voice didn't sound as liquid as it normally does. When he came to "La vita mi costasse" where he takes a climactic high "B" on a crescendo, he had trouble and a minute later sounded hoarse.

Chapin Explains

Before Act II, general manager Schuyler Chapin announced that the tenor had sung Act I against his physician's advice and now was about to sing Act II against it too.

To the observant listener it was a fascinating experience to watch Bergonzi use his great singing skill against obstacles. He sang the rest of the opera extraordinarily well and after the climactic "Victoria, Victoria," in Act II, his fans, possibly the claque, burst into applause despite the fact that he went right on singing less spinetingling stuff.

He was fortunate in his Tosca, Teresa Zylis-Gara, slim and lovely, and singing the role for the first time at the Met. By appearance and voice she is ideally suited to the role.

Miss Zylis-Gara was feminine, not regal in the part, and this seemed right for her. She and that great singing-actor, Gabriel Bacquier, the Scarpia, made the opera an exciting drama. It was alive with color, contrasts and a feeling of theater. Bacquier was elegant, insinuating and sinister. He was the kind of Scarpia which made you wonder why Tosca bothered so much with Cavaradossi.

Exquisite "Vissi d'arte"

Miss Zylis-Gara sang the "Vissi d'arte" aria exquisitely. There were times when her voice was diffuse, especially on the dramatic top, but it was always full and beautiful when she sang lyrically. She ended the "Vissi d'arte" a trifle off pitch but somehow, that too, fitted the anguish of the moment.

When she left the room after having killed Scarpia, she forgot her scarf but these and more important signs of inexperience should vanish with repetition.

Alberto Erede conducted with far stronger rhythm and sensitive timing than when 1 heard his "Tosca" previously this season. The orchestra projected the drama, and the whole, including the chorus and supporting rôles, was impressive.

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