[Met Performance] CID:243400
Carmen {732} Metropolitan Opera House: 11/21/1975.

(Debut: José Van Dam
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
November 21, 1975


CARMEN {732}

Carmen..................Régine Crespin
Don José................James McCracken
Micaela.................Lucine Amara
Escamillo...............José Van Dam [Debut]
Frasquita...............Alma Jean Smith
Mercédès................Cynthia Munzer
Remendado...............Andrea Velis
Dancaïre................Russell Christopher
Zuniga..................Andrij Dobriansky
Moralès.................Gene Boucher
Lillas Pastia...........Paul Franke

Conductor...............Henry Lewis

Review of John Rockwell in The New York Times

José Van Dam, the Belgian bass who made his Metropolitan Opera debut Friday night as Escamillo in "Carmen," is the leading singer of the role in the world today and on Friday he showed why.

Escamillo is hardly all simpleminded, stentorian bravado. The range is treacherously wide, from solid bass to high baritone, and there is as much demand for soft, sensitive singing as for swagger and bluster. Most Escamillos content themselves with belting out the top notes and doing a lot of cape-swirling and let the rest fall where it will.

Mr. Van Dam s high bass encompasses the top of the part a bit better than the very bottom. It is a large, mellow instrument, able to modulate smoothly into soft singing. And his stage presence made the matador a fully commanding figure without falling into macho cheapness.



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