[Met Performance] CID:243390
New Production
Le Nozze di Figaro {249} Metropolitan Opera House: 11/20/1975.

(Debuts: Barbara Bystrom, Wolfgang Brendel
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
November 20, 1975
Benefit sponsored by the Metropolitan Opera Guild
for the production funds
New Production


LE NOZZE DI FIGARO {249}
Mozart-Da Ponte

Figaro..................Justino Díaz
Susanna.................Judith Blegen
Count Almaviva..........Wolfgang Brendel [Debut]
Countess Almaviva.......Evelyn Lear
Cherubino...............Frederica von Stade
Dr. Bartolo.............Andrew Foldi
Marcellina..............Jean Kraft
Don Basilio.............Andrea Velis
Antonio.................Richard Best
Barbarina...............Betsy Norden
Don Curzio..............Robert Schmorr
Peasant.................Elyssa Lindner
Peasant.................Barbara Bystrom [Debut]

Conductor...............Steuart Bedford

Production..............Günther Rennert
Designer................Robert O'Hearn

Le Nozze di Figaro received twenty performances this season.

Review of Andrew Porter in the Financial Times (London)

The Metropolitan Opera's new "Figaro" - the first brand new production of the season - is not much of a performance. Steuart Bedford conducts swiftly, unyieldingly, unfeelingly. Robert O'Hearn's scenery is unattractive but serviceable. Like several other recent "Figaro" designers, he has aimed to show more of the palace than just the immediate rooms of the action: a corridor in Act I, a terrace in Act II. It gives a sense of intrigue scuttling throughout the place but blurs the sharp focus of the scenes and spoils, by anticipation, what should be some sudden entrances. In Act IV "Figaro" designers often come unstuck, though "a dense garden with two corresponding niches, usable" should be easy enough to achieve. Mr. O'Hearn settles for an arrangement of oversized fireguards, which catch the follow spots - the Met's basic system of lighting - when characters duck behind them.

Gunther Rennert's production is firmly laid out on conventional lines but lacks any sharp definition. Its main innovation - in Act II the Countess sets out to seduce Cheruhino - is tasteless and untrue to the character of the woman who has just sung "Porgi amor." Social distinctions are blurred, because the Count and Figaro, Wolfgang Brendel and Justino Diaz, seem curiously interchangeable. In his wooing, the former is like a young Ochs. (A grown-up Octavian would be more appropriate.) The best singing comes from Frederica von Stade as Cherubino. though she is less well accompanied here than by John Pritchard at Glyndebourne or Karajan at Salzburg. Judith Blegen's tones are too small and narrow for Susanna, but otherwise she is altogether delightful, a complete actress and musician in all her inflexions, in every alert gesture and glance. Evelyn Lear essayed a Countess in the grand manner, but her voice would not do what she asked of it.



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